Wednesday’s Headlines Say Keep the Gas Tax

Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
  • Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the Biden administration is considering suspending the gas tax in response to rising prices (NBC News), and the president said he’ll make a decision by the end of the week (Washington Post). But a gas-tax holiday would only save drivers a few cents a gallon (USA Today). Even with minimal savings, the CEO of Target thinks it’s a dumb idea because it would increase demand (New York Post).
  • Fare-free transit is becoming increasingly popular in blue cities and states as an equity and climate issue. It’s not a silver bullet to bring riders back to buses and trains, though, unless the services is also frequent enough to be useful. (Politico)
  • Houston’s light-rail system racked up the most collisions per million miles in 2019, while St. Louis had the fewest and Seattle ranked in the middle, according to Federal Transit Administration data. (Seattle Times)
  • Pittsburgh opened its first advisory bike lanes, where cars going in both directions share a center lane but are allowed to move into bike lanes to pass each other after yielding to bikes. (CBS News)
  • Seattle’s traffic deaths hit a 16-year high in 2021. (KING)
  • A bike plan in the Seattle suburb of Bothell falls short of expectations. (The Urbanist)
  • Bike thefts are down in Denver but remain a concern for cyclists. (Denver Post)
  • Tucson is keeping transit fare-free at least through the end of the year. (Arizona Daily Star)
  • UPS’ new cargo e-bikes are now on the streets of Manhattan. (Car Scoop)
  • Sorry, those Jen Psaki tweets poking fun at Donald Trump after Joe Biden took a bike spill came from a parody account. (Snopes)


The Utter Futility of a Gas Tax “Holiday”

Disclaimer: The House and Senate, in the grand scheme of things, have plenty of time to hack together a short-term extension of transportation funding, or even to pass the Senate bill outright if they felt like it. Sometimes, though, to the outside observer (even to the cross-eyed reporter) it sure does look like we could […]

Ranking the Sad Parade of Federal Transpo Funding Ideas From Worst to Best

The problem seems simple enough: The federal transportation program is going broke because Washington has allowed the gas tax to be eroded by inflation for more than 20 years. As obvious as raising the gas tax may be, America’s political leaders won’t touch it. Yesterday, The Hill reported that Congressman Bill Shuster, chair of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, is ruling out […]