Princeton, NJ, February 11, 2015 --(PR.com
)-- Automotive fleets are major users of the American highway system. Fleet autos, trucks, and vans depend on the system to carry out the mission of their company or agency, and that system requires funding to keep it viable for now and in the future. Yet maintaining funding for the Highway Trust Fund has been a perennial struggle on Capitol Hill. On the morning of February 9, 2015, NAFA Fleet Management Association submitted an urgent request to each Congressional office in Washington D.C. strongly urging representatives to raise the federal fuels user fee.
"An increase in the user fee is the most cost efficient and straightforward way to provide a steady revenue stream to the Highway Trust Fund. Current funding expires May 31," said NAFA Chief Executive Officer Phillip E. Russo, CAE. "Congress has patched the Highway Trust Fund five times since 2008, continuing to kick the can further down the road, and now it faces yet another looming shortfall."
The drivers of fleet vehicles -- whether a sales representative in a company auto, a technician in a utility service vehicle, or a refuse truck crew -- daily face the combined challenges of congestion, poor road conditions, closed bridges, and other obstacles that have a direct impact on their efficiency and their employers’ bottom lines. Congestion reduces productivity as vehicles idle in traffic, delaying deliveries or missing appointments. Crumbling infrastructure damages fleet vehicles, resulting in vehicles having to be taken out of service for needed repairs.
As the Administration drafts new greenhouse gas and fuel economy standards for trucks, congestion undermines this effort, resulting in increased emissions and reduced fuel economy. Every day thousands of fleet vehicles waste fuel and increase emissions as victims of congestion. According to the American Society of Civil Engineer’s ASCE’s 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, forty-two percent of America’s major urban highways remain congested, costing the economy an estimated $101 billion in wasted time and fuel annually. In total, one in nine of the nation’s bridges are rated as structurally deficient, while the average age of the nation’s 607,380 bridges is currently 42 years.
"Although the cost of fuel is the single largest component of operating costs, many fleets are willing to pay more in order to resolve the nation’s infrastructure crisis, provided the funds are used to ease congestion and improve safety," Russo said. "The time for leadership and action is now. The costs of an increased fuel tax pales in comparison to the cost of continued inaction. We urge (Congress) to support an increased fuel tax."
About NAFA Fleet Management Association
NAFA is the world’s premier non-profit association for professionals who manage fleets of sedans, public safety vehicles, trucks, and buses of all types and sizes, and a wide range of military and off-road equipment for organizations across the globe. NAFA is the association for the diverse vehicle fleet management profession regardless of organizational type, geographic location or fleet composition. NAFA’s Full and Associate Members are responsible for the specification, acquisition, maintenance and repair, fueling, risk management, and remarketing of more than 3.5 million vehicles including in excess of 1.1 million trucks of which 350 thousand are medium- and heavy-duty trucks. For more information visit nafa.org. Follow NAFA on Twitter and Facebook at nafafleet and on LinkedIn at nafa.org/linkedin.