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America's Transportation Infrastructure: A Funding Crisis

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill., Oct. 17, 2019 -- A-to-Be USA, the U.S. subsidiary of Portuguese A-to-Be, released today the first in a series of educational reports concerning transportation funding in the United States. The report titled "America's Transportation Infrastructure: A Funding Crisis," establishes a foundation for decision makers, business interests and the public to more fully understand debilitating shortcomings associated with an increasingly insolvent gas tax and discusses several innovative solutions currently available to U.S. markets.

In 2015, the U.S. transportation network moved on average 49.3 million tons of freight per day. Currently valued at more than $52.5 billion, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics expects the value of freight to increase from $1,044 per ton in 2012 to approximately $1,461 per ton by 2045. Meanwhile, American motorists drove 12.2 billion miles in 2018 than they did the year prior. Record setting vehicle miles travelled (VMT) reflect a robust U.S. economy, but crumbling transportation infrastructure presents a debilitating roadblock to sustained growth and productivity.

States have historically relied on a combination of state and federal excise taxes to sustain transportation funds. Fuel taxes set by state legislatures reflect fixed prices per gallon. Each gallon of fuel carries an additional 18.4 cents levied on behalf of the federal government that is deposited into the Highway Trust Fund. The federal gas tax, however, has not increased since 1993, and without additional revenue Congressional Budget Office estimates anticipate the Fund will be insolvent by 2021. Consequently, the federal government's purchasing power has eroded significantly in recent years.

According to the report, Americans own a tremendous asset by way of their state's transportation system, but it is commonly misconstrued as a public service. These assets, as any assets, require regular maintenance and upkeep. Transportation costs may be supplemented through government funding – but roads are not free to use.

"Technology is changing the way that Americans move from point A to point B," noted Jason Wall, CEO of A-to-Be USA. "In order to ensure long-term safety and efficiency, funding streams must evolve en suite," he continued.

Viable alternatives to a higher gas tax include tolling, congestion pricing, managed and express lanes, and road usage charging (RUC), among others. This year saw new toll roads in Texas, California, Virginia, Florida, North Carolina and Oregon, and states such as Connecticut, Michigan and Wyoming are considering toll legislation. Meanwhile, New York City was the first city in the United States to establish a congestion pricing toll system aimed at shifting traffic in and out of the city to off-peak hours, and a growing number of states including California, Oregon, Washington, and Colorado are actively exploring the viability of a distance-based RUC. Managed lanes such as access control, HOV and pricing lanes operate according to demand and are found across the United States.

To download the full report, click here.

About A-to-Be

A-to-Be is a Portuguese-based company powered by Brisa (its major shareholder) responsible for developing and delivering solutions to mobility service operators internationally. For over 40 years, the company has provided leading tolling, traffic management, smart city, and revenue assurance solutions across Europe and the United States. A-to-Be processes over 1 billion tolling transactions and 25 million multi-service mobility transactions annually, managing more than 7 million customer accounts. A-to-Be provides a multitude of tolling solutions including self-service, electronic and satellite, as well as solutions connected directly to your smart device. Our solutions are vendor-independent, plug-and-pay and can be diversified to provide payment options for parking garages, public transport, fuel stations, and other MaaS value-added solutions.

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