Dean David Van Slyke on the recently passed infrastructure bill

Reporters seeking expert advice on all infrastructure issues, please see comments from David M. Van Slyke, Dean of the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University and the Louis Chair A. Bantle in trade and government policy.

David Van Slyke

Van Slyke is a leading international expert on public-private partnerships, public sector contracts, contract management and policy implementation. It can provide insight into various aspects of the new infrastructure bill just passed by Congress and soon to be signed by President Biden.

“Our natural tendency is to invest in the infrastructure of yesteryear and take a wealth redistribution approach to distribute federal money without investing in the highest priority areas, the existing facilities that are most at risk and in communities that are quite dependent on transport and mobility, ”said Van Slyke.

“There is too little money for automation and system upgrades. The language of the bill uses coded and opaque language around programming to favor staffing over infrastructure that integrates automated systems under human surveillance and control.

“Right now there is an opportunity to think carefully about equity and inclusion with regard to access and mobility in terms of future projects. We need to look at the empirical evidence that suggests high-speed rail is not an effective or efficient option for some corridors when it comes to emission reductions, ”said Van Slyke.

The bill set aside $ 10 billion for rail lines and in particular high-speed rail, although moving the country to a high-speed line would require much more investment.

“As the world grapples with climate change, what do ready-to-go projects really mean? Right now we need to prioritize projects. This means using federal money to leverage state and local money and engage private participation through public-private partnerships. We need to integrate projects within regions and between states in order to really improve the investments we need for tomorrow and for the future, ”said Van Slyke. “This means a fundamental overhaul of how to achieve other climate and security risk goals for infrastructure development and protection. “

But Van Slyke says: “Certain types of infrastructure investments require behavior change and currently lack political will.

“Finally, we must pay equitably for investments in infrastructure. Too many projects are unfairly subsidized by the greatest number for the few. The very thin passing of this bill means that we have to consider a totally different approach to long-term public support, especially when the last federal gas tax increase was in 1993, ”said Van Slyke.

The federal gasoline tax pays for the federal portion of highway and transit projects. However, the gasoline tax is the same at 18.4 cents per gallon for unleaded when it was increased in 1993. Still, the cost of building and maintaining roads, bridges and transportation. common has increased while more fuel-efficient cars use less gasoline.

To arrange an interview with Dean Van Slyke, please contact Ellen James Mbuqe at [email protected] or 412-496-0551.

Here are examples of Van Slyke’s comments on infrastructure projects and public-private partnerships:

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