The state’s transportation system is crumbling and Californians are paying the price.
Vehicle operating expenses associated with rough driving conditions including repairs, tire wear, and increased fuel consumption cost Californians $18.3 billion annually.
A recent study shows that traffic congestion costs the average motorist in large metropolitan regions of the state roughly 3 days and over $1,500 each year.
California road maintenance costs are the 7th highest in the nation, costing residents $419,000 per mile. The state also suffers the 9th worst road conditions in the nation.
25 percent of the bridges in California show “significant deterioration or do not meet current design standards,” according to a national research organization.
Senate Republicans united to jumpstart state investment in transportation projects without raising taxes.
Over a year ago, Senate Republicans proposed a comprehensive plan to address California’s transportation needs. But the majority party has refused to take action, just as they’ve failed to act on fixing and maintaining our roads and highways for years.
Californians already pay the fifth highest gas taxes in the nation and often the highest gas prices in the nation. Adding up the fuel taxes, “summer blend” costs and other requirements can add as much as 50 cents more per gallon to the price of gas. For the average family of four with two cars this could mean spending up to $700 more per year at the pump.
Senate Republicans believe it is time to address this crisis.
First, spend every dollar on transportation projects.
It’s past time to reinvest in our transportation infrastructure. Gas taxes and user fees should be dedicated to their intended purposes – maintaining our roads and highways
Second, adjust the state’s priorities to ensure that the funds collected are applied toward the transportation systems Californians actually use.
We need to prioritize safety and fix California’s crumbling transportation system. Better roads and highways will keep our families safe and help our businesses expand.
Third, break the bureaucratic gridlock so that transportation projects are built efficiently and cost-effectively.
And ease the regulations that are delaying many projects from getting off the ground.
Earlier this year, Senate Republicans introduced bills that would:
Streamline transportation project approvals and provide opportunities to achieve cost savings. (SB 901/Bates)
Prevent duplicative bureaucracy by eliminating the need to complete two environmental review processes when one would suffice. (SB 902/Cannella)
Require disclosure of anyone who files or pays for any CEQA lawsuit, as is done in most other litigation processes and political disclosures. (SB 1248/Moorlach)
Additionally, Senate Republicans called for reforming the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to bring more accountability and efficiency to transportation repair and maintenance projects.
These reform measures failed to make it through the legislature this year, but Senate Republicans remain committed to working toward real, bipartisan solutions to address California’s transportation crisis.
The transportation special session is still open, and the majority party’s most recent proposal is a $7.4 billion plan that includes a 17 cent per gallon increase in California’s gas tax. Senate Republicans continue to call for using existing transportation dollars on transportation projects, as well as reforming the system to ensure the transportation priorities of Californians are adequately addressed.