Your Oct. 5 Pre-Trip: Officials urge Congress to pass long-term highway bill

Oct. 5, 2015
State Departments of Transportation officials have formally called on Congress to pass a long-term highway funding plan.

Here are five things worth knowing today:

1. State Departments of Transportation officials have formally called on Congress to pass a long-term highway funding plan. According to the AASHTO Journal, the board of American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials unanimously approved a resolution that says a “long-term bill is must-pass legislation that can prevent significant planning and construction disruptions to highway and transit projects.” Currently, the trust fund’s highway and transit spending is only authorized through Oct. 29, with enough money to last into 2016. The AASHTO Journal has more.

2. Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy is calling the nation’s lack of spending in transportation infrastructure a “gigantic problem,” the Hartford Courant reports. Malloy, who spoke at the Concordia Summit last week, told the forum that his $100 billion plan to rebuild Connecticut’s highway and transit networks is “essential,” according to the report. He added that traffic congestion in the state costs businesses and residents $100 million a day in lost productivity.  

3. Oregon is looking for more drivers to sign up for its pay-by-the-mile pilot program, OReGO, the Eastern Oregonian reports. According to the report, the state had hoped to recruit 5,000 drivers to the program, which tests the pay-by-the-mile alternative to the gas tax. However, only 900 drivers signed up. Oregon, like most states across the nation, faces a long-term transportation funding dilemma, as state and federal gas taxes provide only about half the money needed for bridges, highways and other transportation projects. The state believes that as more people buy fuel-efficient vehicles, the expected gas tax revenue will decline further in the future.

4. Truck driver Tom Kyrk prepares tasty, healthy food in his 2015 Freightliner Cascadia, and he is helping other truck drivers eat better as well, according to a Trucking News Online report. Kyrk operates Road Tested Living, a website that offers recipes, product reviews, exercise tips and other materials for truckers wanting a healthy lifestyle, according to the report. According to his site, Kyrk began Road tested Living as a way to share how he lost weight by cooking on the truck and increasing his activity. It ended up becoming a site that “increased its focus to life lessons learned from the road on living well.”

5. The National Association of Independent Truckers has enlisted Medicare Marketplace as a resource for its members. The partnership gives NAIT members access to Medicare Marketplace’s team of insurance agents to help members find coverage.

About the Author

Cristina Commendatore

Cristina Commendatore was previously the Editor-in-chief of FleetOwner magazine. She reported on the transportation industry since 2015, covering topics such as business operational challenges, driver and technician shortages, truck safety, and new vehicle technologies. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut.

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