Archive for January, 2011

Colorado Introduces Legislation to Put Alternative Fuels at Rest Areas

Monday, January 31st, 2011

In a move aimed at urging Congress to overturn the prohibition on rest area commercialization, the Colorado State Legislature last week introduced a bill to allow alternative fuel refueling stations at Interstate rest areas and state parks.

HB 1133 would allow the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) in conjunction with the division of parks and outdoor recreation to award a concession to one or more commercial entities to install and maintain alternative fuel vehicle refueling stations at state parks and rest areas provided the concession is not detrimental to public safety, the environment and doesn’t increase state expenses.  

CDOT also would be required to list the alternative vehicle refueling stations on its website, beginning Jan. 1, 2012.

Colorado is the fourth state to introduce legislation related to rest area commercialization.  Legislation has been introduced in Washington and Arizona that would allow those states to move forward with rest area commercialization if the federal law is changed.  A resolution has been introduced in Tennessee to urge Congress to change the 1956 law prohibiting commercial services at interstate rest areas.

Study Suggests Electric Vehicles Market to Grow

Friday, January 14th, 2011

Growth in the number of electric vehicles on U.S. roads over the next five years stands to spur demand for electric charging stations at private businesses, according to a new study conducted by Zpryme Research and Consulting.   

The Electric Vehicle Study found that more than 730,000 electric vehicles could be on U.S. roads by 2016. The number of public charging stations could reach 344,900 by the same year. According to Zpryme, pioneer consumers located primarily in Western states and metropolitan areas will make up the majority of electric vehicle drivers in the next few years.  

According to the study, 37.2 percent of respondents said they were “very” or “somewhat” likely to purchase an electric vehicle in the next two years.  Of that segment, however, only 8.5 percent were “very likely” to purchase an electric vehicle.

Groups Oppose House GOP Rule That Hurts Transportation Investment

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

Transportation groups are urging House Republicans to reconsider their proposed rules package for the upcoming 112th Congress due to a provision they believe would hurt investment in transportation infrastructure. The current House rules ensure that all revenues paid by taxpayers into the Highway Trust Fund are used for highway and transit improvements on an annual basis. However, by requiring that transportation be a part of the annual appropriations process, there is no guarantee that all fuel tax revenues will be spent each year.

According to a letter sent last week to the House Leadership, before the current rule was adopted in 1998, “it was common for Congress to engage in a shell game by reducing Highway Trust Fund spending so that spending elsewhere could be increased.” As a result, trust fund balances soared while Congress deferred critical transportation investment.

Transportation advocates fear the proposed House rules package would sever the user-financed basis of the Highway Trust Fund. Transportation infrastructure construction projects take years to complete and depend on a stable predictable funding level. The letter said that the rules, if adopted, would add further uncertainty into the process.