The Eastern Transportation Coalition and the Delaware Department of Transportation announced a $4.503 million grant from the United States Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration as part of the Surface Transportation System Funding Alternatives (STSFA) program. The Eastern Transportation Coalition – formerly the I-95 Corridor Coalition – represents 17 eastern states plus Washington, DC, and provides an ideal testbed for mileage-based user fee exploration. The Eastern Transportation Coalition is a national leader in mileage-based user fee work, having been awarded a grant under all five of the previous STSFA applications.
“Delaware continues to support the commitment of The Eastern Transportation Coalition to explore alternatives for funding our transportation infrastructure,” said Nicole Majeski, Secretary of the Delaware Department of Transportation. “The Coalition’s work on this issue is providing valuable data that will inform our decision making as we look to the future,” said Majeski.
This grant funding is especially relevant in our current society, as the way Americans travel is ever changing. “Our nation’s transportation system is the backbone to everything we do, helping people get to work, school – it’s critical to our economy,” said Patricia Hendren, Executive Director of The Eastern Transportation Coalition. “Our previous mileage-based user fee work has documented many important issues when considering a mileage-based user fee, including privacy, equity, and the need to engage with the public about transportation,” said Hendren.
The Eastern Transportation Coalition and Delaware Department of Transportation’s joint grant application received the largest portion of the total $17.951 million allotment. The grant funding will provide benefits across the entire eastern seaboard with participating states including Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. This phase of work will build upon previous efforts to determine the feasibility of mileage-based user fees in a multi-state environment by using demonstration pilots, real-world data analysis, and engagement with passenger and truck drivers to identify solutions to implementation barriers (e.g., closing the information gap, equity concerns, compliance and enforcement, privacy issues, harmonization across states).
“This grant funding will allow The Eastern Transportation Coalition to continue to lead – and provide important actionable insights for the entire nation. The Eastern Transportation Coalition uniquely represents only public-sector agencies across a diverse set of states, which allows us to hone in on the specific topics that are most important to the residents and state legislatures,” said Hendren.