Looking ahead to President Trump’s $1-trillion, 10-year infrastructure plan, rural states are laying down a marker. Transportation officials from rural areas say public-private partnerships generally won’t help them. They say they need direct federal funding.
At a Feb. 8 Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing, William Panos, Wyoming Dept. of Transportation director, said, “Public-private partnerships and other approaches that depend on a positive revenue stream are not a surface-transportation infrastructure solution for rural states.” Panos, testifying for DOTs in Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming, said, “Any surface-transportation initiative should strongly emphasize formula funding.” He supports the 2015 Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act’s funding formula.