Declining Transportation Investment Impacts Jobs
July 21, 2016
While the deteriorating condition of our streets and roads and the lack of money to repair them has been the focus of CSAC’s transportation funding advocacy, CSAC and our partners in the Fix Our Roads Coalition wrote to the Legislature this week to stress some of the broader economic impacts of California’s transportation funding crisis.
The letter highlights the recent bankruptcy of a well-known contractor that was representative of mid-sized heavy construction companies in California—an industry that employs about 250,000 workers. Driven by reductions in gas prices and increasing fuel economy, less funding is available for projects that employ these Californians.
The letter notes that Caltrans’ annual capital program has dropped from more than $7 billion in 2010‐11 to an estimated $2.9 billion for the coming year. Similar reductions have occurred at the local level, where, driven by an 82% decrease in price-based excise tax revenues, state gas tax funding for local streets and roads projects has dropped from $1.8 billion in fiscal year 2013-14 to an estimated $1.1 billion in the upcoming fiscal year.
The Legislature returns from its summer recess on August 1 and CSAC and the Fix Our Roads Coalition continue to urge action on a comprehensive transportation funding and reform package. The condition of California’s economy depends on it—both in terms of the mobility the transportation system provides and the industry and employees its maintenance and improvement supports.