Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao says passing major infrastructure legislation President Donald Trump promised during his campaign will be challenging. Trump has proposed using public-private partnerships to fund the effort, but Chao acknowledges that other financing methods will be needed.
The addition of two toll lanes on Texas 71 near the airport in Austin, Texas, could help alleviate congestion. The project is the eighth toll road in the region, and seven additional ones are underway or in the planning stages.
The International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association will offer a $5,000-a-year scholarship for up to two full-time undergraduates pursuing degrees in transportation fields, engineering, construction management, urban or rural planning, or public policy/public administration.
The federal FAST Act tolling program allowed the Federal Highway Administration to select states to pilot the tolling of interstates. However, its choices -- Missouri, North Carolina and Virginia -- missed the deadlines, so Oregon hopes to apply.
Elizabeth River Crossings, which operates the Downtown and Midtown tunnels in Virginia, will donate $500,000 to the state to pay for a toll-discount program for low-income residents in Norfolk and Portsmouth. So far, 2,000 residents earning $30,000 or less have enrolled in the program, which will save them 75 cents on each trip.
The Showtime Speedway Pinellas Park racetrack in Clearwater, Fla., opened in 1960, and the Florida Department of Transportation later purchased the land, planning to build a toll road through it. Through the efforts of a state senator and others, FDOT has decided to reroute the road, thus preserving the track.
Truck drivers often use PrePass transponders from Help to bypass weigh stations, but the company is now offering the option of using the transponders to pay tolls on Texas highways operated by the Harris County Toll Road Authority, the North Texas Tollway Authority and the Texas Department of Transportation. The company says the move will make truck drivers more efficient.
The New York Thruway Authority plans to convert its 570 miles of toll roads to all-electronic tolling and has the support of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. However, it's a costly venture, and the estimated "hundreds of millions of dollars" needed are not in the authority's budget.
Uber and other ride-sharing services might play a small role in the first decrease in weekend New York City subway ridership since 2009, said Fernando Ferrer, acting chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Weekday ridership hit an almost 70-year high in 2016, but weekend use declined 3%.
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