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Do Drivers Cover the Cost of Roads? Not By a Long Shot

10:30 AM PDT on September 26, 2014

This chart shows what percent of different kinds of roads is paid for by the gas tax. Image: Pew Research Center

All charts: Pew Charitable Trusts [PDF]

David Alpert at Greater Greater Washington shares this fantastic chart from a new study of transportation funding by the Pew Charitable Trusts [PDF]. Alpert explains:

This chart from Pew shows where the transportation money comes from; it’s not all drivers.

Basically, the bluish areas are revenues which come specifically from drivers: gas taxes, vehicle taxes, and tolls. The greenish ones are other revenues: property taxes, general fund transfers, and other funds.

In this chart, you can see that the levels of government that subsidize roads the most — state and local — also spend more on transportation overall than the feds:

The federal government shares the costs of building and maintaining roads with state and local governments.
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And here you can see that at all levels of government, roads get the lion’s share of transportation funds:

Elsewhere on the Network today: Human Transit compares commute times in some of the world’s major cities. This Old City discusses how U.S. DOT’s new guidance on protected bike lanes could improve street safety in Philadelphia. And Treehugger reports that truck sideguards — a piece of safety equipment that can save pedestrians’ and cyclists’ lives — are now required in Boston.

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