September 6, 2019 3:00 PM, EDT

Congressional Committees to Examine Transportation Funding, Security

Traffic on 42nd Street in New York CityTraffic on 42nd Street in New York City. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has considered congestion pricing for Manhattan. (Mary Altaffer/Associated Press)

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Congress’ first week back from its August recess will feature hearings examining funding options for highway projects and security conditions across the aviation landscape.

The House Highways and Transit Subcommittee is scheduled to meet Sept. 11 to review why agencies around the country are considering congestion pricing and tolling. The systems are meant to alleviate traffic and fund repairs and maintenance for corridors.

Recently, cities such as Seattle and New York, as well as the Washington metropolitan area, have sought to explore proceeding with congestion pricing. The interest in congestion pricing signals cities’ growing concern with traffic, experts have suggested.

A Texas A&M Transportation Institute report, published Aug. 22, found that the average commuter faced an annual delay of 54 hours due to traffic in 2017. That was an increase from 47 hours per year lost in 2012.

Tolling is used more often in urban regions that record a high volume of vehicle miles traveled. Last year, the Trump White House expressed support for the expansion of tolling nationwide. Changes to the federal ban on tolling interstate highways is under Congress’ purview. A significant aspect of the trucking industry opposes new tolls on interstates.

In the Senate, the Commerce Committee scheduled a hearing — also Sept. 11 — with Patricia Cogswell, acting deputy administrator of the Transportation Security Administration. Policymakers are expected to share views and raise concerns about TSA’s operations at the hearing.