President-elect Donald Trump has chosen experienced lobbyist Martin Whitmer to lead transportation transition efforts for the incoming administration. Whitmer has long ties to the transportation industry.
“The American people have been burdened by a transportation system that has been neglected far too long,” Trump’s transition website says. “Americans deserve a reliable and efficient transportation network and the Trump administration seeks to invest $550 billion to ensure we can export our goods and move our people faster and safer.”
The state of Missouri is also working to improve its transportation system, but at just 17 cents of tax per gallon, the state ranks 47th nationally in revenue per mile. Missouri also clocks in at 33,873 miles of state highways, putting it at number seven nationally in state highway miles.
Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) has projected a fiscal year 2017 budget of $2.08 billion. Though it is a big number, managing transportation is expensive. For example, the cost to resurface just one lane of the interstate highway is $164,000 per mile. Annually, Missouri spends $45 million on snow removal, $5.7 million on litter pick-up and $20.2 million on mowing.
In 2015, Missouri transportation funding only rung in at $2,349 million in revenue, yet had $2,503 million in expenditures (including salaries, wages and fringe benefits). Their projects, however, have been 6% under budget in the last 10 years and their customer satisfaction rating is at 83%. A slight increase in funding could mean the world of difference for Missourians looking to commute on more efficient roadways. Charts show that funding falls short for improvements that would benefit employees, businesses, and just about everyone else that travels within the state.
AIM President Ray McCarty, MTD Chairman Rod Reid, and AIM Communications Director Haley Castelvecchi met with Patrick McKenna, Director of MoDOT in August. Associated Industries of Missouri (AIM) and Missouri Transportation and Development Council (MTD) support additional funding for transportation improvements. Accessible, reliable transportation means more efficient business.
If you want to know exactly where your motor fuel tax-dollars are going, MoDOT has it outlined in an easy-to-understand format on their website here. If you’re interested in finding out much you individually contribute to transportation funding based on how much you drive, try MoDOT’s calculator here.