The cost of failing infrastructure in the trucking industry
Infrastructure throughout the United States, or rather the lack thereof, has caused quite a disastrous conundrum for truckers, who have been forced to spend copious amounts of money on damaged equipment.
While breaking down a recent survey conducted by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), Land Line Magazine found that OOIDA members spend about $5,000 annually on damage repairs caused by suboptimal road conditions.
Additionally, according to the American Transportation Research Institute, operational costs throughout the trucking industry due to overwhelming traffic cost a grand total of $74.5 billion.
Needless to say, America’s increasingly dilapidated infrastructure needs an entire makeover.
In 2017’s Infrastructure Report Card, which is created by the American Society of Civil Engineers, the U.S. received a D grade for its roads alone with an overall grade of D+.
For anyone that went to school, a D is, well, not good. It’s likely time to try a different approach to whatever is currently going on.
Per the report, roads are often crowded, frequently in poor condition, chronically underfunded, and becoming more dangerous. After decades of negligence, the worsening road conditions have led to a 7 percent increase in fatalities, with 35,092 dying because of roads throughout the country.
In addition, the country lost a total of $160 billion in productivity, as Americans spent 6.9 billion hours in traffic and burned 3.1 billion gallons of fuel in 2014.
In order to fix the plethora of issues with American infrastructure, there have been plenty of proposals brought forth at a federal level.
On the Democratic side, House Democrats proposed a five-year, $760 billion transportation authorization while Senate Republicans proposed a meager $287 billion authorization over 5 years.
Nevertheless, President Donald Trump has presented a much more ambitious proposal, which looks to spend $1 trillion over a 10-year period. In the proposal, Trump is looking to invest in solutions for the trucking industry specifically including “opening up bottlenecks and adding capacity, deploying effective technologies, and expanding parking.”
However, while the president believed he could use tax incentives to spur private investment in public works back in 2016, that plan didn’t work and he now lacks a clear way to pay for his proposal. This has caused his plan to be rebuffed by both Republicans and Democrats.
Other plans out there include an investment of $1 trillion over 5 years, which was proposed way back in 2015 by Senator Bernie Sanders. Using the initial investment, Sanders’ proposal looks to not only fix America’s crumbling infrastructure but also create over 13 million jobs in the process.
Mostly paid for by closing corporate income tax loopholes and overseas tax havens, the Vermont senator’s proposal also leverages the use of renewable energy as part of his Green New Deal.
In addition, according to studies conducted by the National Association of Manufacturers, each dollar spent on infrastructure investment will yield at least $3 towards GDP growth.
Overall, investing in infrastructure can also spur the economy moving forward for working-class folk, as more good-paying jobs are created.
Nevertheless, the results of every proposal are yet to be seen. With Republicans still wary of Trump’s current proposal, it’s likely that he yet again will fail to pass an infrastructure bill.
So, what do you think about the proposals? Let us know in the comments or on social media!
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