The Surface Transportation System is on the list of "high risk" for US (GAO) since 2007. Let’s recall that the inspection body uses this list to describe areas that are subject to vulnerabilities such as fraud, abuse or mismanagement, and therefore has the greatest need of transformation.
From 2007 to 2013, the GAO made 15 reports on transportation in the United States, ranging from highways, trains and buses. In its investigation, the auditors identified two key points: first, the decline of funding sources and, secondly, poor performance in its programs.
To explain the first problem faced by the Federal Government it is necessary to know that the Transportation Trust Fund is financed by fuel taxes. But so it happens that tax rates have not increased since 1993, due to inflation, the 18.4 cents per gallon that gasoline charges today represents a value of just 11.5 cents on the dollar.
Given this situation, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that from 2012-2022 110,000 million dollars will be needed to maintain transport costs.
It notes that there is now a new trend in America that makes people use less gasoline and, therefore, decrease the tax fund to finance the transportation system. It is that vehicles are becoming more efficient and also many use solar energy instead of fuel.
Following this, in 2012, President Barack Obama signed the Law that continued Progress for the XXI Century (MAP-21), which requires states to establish performance measures and report their progress. Thus, for example, motorways have seven objectives for pavements, bridges, injuries, traffic congestion, among others.
Thanks to the new legislation, the responsibilities of the programs of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) were refined in recent years, but the US Audit maintains that the entity in question is "time consuming" and has little control, so it recommends that "some activities could be delegated to local governments" to optimize national transport.