According to James Ray, Acting Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration, the current system of deriving money for the upkeep of the nations roadways is "unpredictable and unsustainable." He adds, "Without a doubt, our federal approach to transportation is broken, and no amount of tweaking, adjusting or adding new layers on top will make things better." This view is understandable in the wake of record high gas prices, which are causing consumers to drive less and therefore produce less revenue from the gas tax. Ray has some suggestions to alleviate some of the problem, including paying a fee based on mileage driven, an increase in alternative transportation methods and incentives to drive during off-peak hours.

Hybrids, electric cars and other fuel-saving technology will further cause a dent in the FHA's pocketbook. In any case, Ray does not plan to increase the gas tax. In fact, the gas tax could be dropped completely in favor of a completely new system, one "more agile and responsive than the current gas tax." We'll keep our ears to the ground.

[Source: The Detroit News / Photo: splorp - Licensed under CC 2.0]

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