Motorists Unsure That Transportation Dollars Are Spent on Needed Repairs

HAMILTON, N.J.— A recent AAA survey of New Jersey motorists found that drivers were skeptical that needed infrastructure repairs and investments were receiving the dedicated funds collected to pay for them.

More than a quarter of those surveyed believe that less than 10 cents on the dollar of collected gas tax revenues  actually makes it to the Transportation Trust Fund, while 35 percent believed 21-50 cents made it into the Fund.

Overall, the survey revealed that more people believe that a majority of funding is not getting to the projects it was designed to support.

“It’s clear from these results that a majority of people believe that transportation revenues are simply not being used for its intended purposes,” said Tracy E. Noble, spokesperson for AAA Mid-Atlantic.

While motorists are skeptical that the money that is allocated to the Transportation Trust Fund, they do believe there is a need for infrastructure improvements. A 2010 survey found most motorists believed that local road conditions have steadily declined over the last decade. Surveyed motorists were equally divided in deciding how to fund these investments, but one thing is clear: before any new money goes into the system, the government must make sure all available existing funding is being used on the projects for which it was allocated.

The survey also found that:

  • 74% believe that government should restore earmarked funding
  • 67% supported that existing toll rates and increases to maintain and fund the Transportation Trust Fund
  • 68% call for the end to the practice of paying for salaries, benefits and operating costs out of funds dedicated to transportation infrastructure

“New Jersey motorists are sending a clear message—before you come asking for more money, you’d better make sure to more responsibly use the funds you already have,” Noble said.  “For too long, these dedicated funds have been diverted to cover other costs. Our transportation infrastructure needs a significant investment, but we can’t ask motorists to cover those costs until the already dedicated dollars are used in an appropriate manner. “

The telephone survey was conducted among a sample of  800 New Jersey motorists in May 2011.

The margin of error for this survey is +/-3.46%.