Alternative Funding Sources

Twenty-six states and Puerto Rico have laws allowing public-private partnerships in transportation. While they can have significant benefits for states, questions remain about their suitability in some cases and the availability of private capital.

In case you missed it, two news items in recent weeks may demonstrate the increasing desperation of state governments in trying to pay for transportation improvements.

E-newsletter Issue #48 | June 10, 2010


It’s been a difficult year for transportation finance at the state level. Legislation reauthorizing federal transportation programs is not expected from Washington until next year.

As state governments are faced with major infrastructure needs and declining tax revenues, many are searching for new revenue options to fund transportation improvements. But the lack of consensus about the viability of those options and uncertainty about federal programs has left states trying to plug holes temporarily.

Book of the States, 2010: Chapter 9

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E-newsletter Issue #47 | May 27, 2010


Facing budget cuts and dwindling funds to build roads and bridges, the New York State Department of Transportation was forced to close a bridge in the North Country, one that connects New York and Vermont.  The old bridge in the Adirondacks was no longer safe for travel.

Charging motorists on a per mile basis has gained some traction in recent years as a potential revenue mechanism to replace state and federal fuel taxes. Pilot projects to test VMT systems in many states are helping to define how they would work.

Despite the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, many states are falling short in providing needed investment in the nation's highways and bridges. But some states in 2009 had success in finding revenue sources to fund them.

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