Surface Transportation Funding Task Force Meets

September 14, 2016

On September 14, 2016, chaired by John Ragan of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Surface Transportation Funding Task Force (STFTF) met for the first time.  SB 1490 created the STFTF.  The bill was sponsored by Senator Worsley.  AZAGC along with fellow Transportation Business Partners member Alan MaGuire helped draft the legislation.

After introductions, Senator Worsley set the tone by informing committee members the purpose of the committee.  He testified that their mission is not to look at specific projects, but to find solutions to funding Arizona's revenue shortfall.  He gave an overview of transportation funding and also gave a presentation on the future of transportation which included how the automobile industry is changing from fossil fuel vehicles to alternatively fueled vehicles.  The presentation included an overview on emerging technologies that will completely change the way transportation looks today.

Staff from the Joint Legislative Budget Committee (JLBC) followed his presentation with a complete overview of existing transportation revenues and the distribution thereof.

Interim Valley Metro CEO Scott Smith, clearly advocating for transit, testified about the importance of transit and other transportation systems working together.  He noted that Mesa Gateway Airport grew due to the extension of the Loop 202.

The next meeting will be September 28, 2016 at 9:00am.  Task force members asked that the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) and the Pima Association of Governments (PAG) make a presentation at the next meeting.  Julie Pastrick, CEO of the Greater Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce requested the Flagstaff MPO to make a presentation also.

Task force members also suggested future items include reviewing the budget for the Highway Patrol as well as possible funding sources, the opportunity cost of making potential recommendations, defining success and the what the realities and constraints are that come with any potential recommendations.

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