Transportation Funding in Minnesota: Past, Present, and Prospects
Zhirong Zhao, Associate Professor, Humphrey School of Public Affairs
Transportation systems play an imperative role in enhancing the productivity and the quality of life in the United States. The funding and financing of transportation is a complex process requiring joint efforts of federal, state, and local governments. To meet current and future transportation needs, policymakers must constantly assess the mechanism of transportation finance to ensure adequate and sustainable investment. In recent years, depleting state and local budgets and growing capital and maintenance costs related to transportation have been a common challenge. The state of Minnesota is estimated to have billions in unmet transportation needs to keep up with inflation and increased demands. This project reviewed the funding of public surface transportation systems (including highways, transit, and local roads) in Minnesota, which included examining how transportation projects have been funded, identifying current and future policy issues likely to affect transportation funding, and examining some of the funding options suggested by other researchers. The aim was to encourage a better understanding and management of issues related to transportation funding in Minnesota.