DRIVE Act Drives in Right Direction; Yet Intelligent Transportation Systems Still Underfunded

Stephen Ezell June 26, 2015
June 26, 2015

The Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee introduced a bipartisan, six-year transportation reauthorization bill on Tuesday, June 23rd called the Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy (DRIVE) Act. While the Act does include a ground-breaking “Transportation Innovation” title which includes numerous provisions incentivizing the use of innovative transportation technologies, funding for intelligent transportation systems (ITS) research, development, and deployment remains significantly underfunded. In fact, it appears that ITS will receive well less than 2 percent of funding, continuing the long pattern of underfunding digital technologies in U.S. transportation policy. Thus, the DRIVE Act falls substantially short of what’s needed to make ITS a central part of the U.S. transportation system. ITIF calls upon the House of Representatives to recognize that investments in ITS have an outsize impact on the performance and efficiency of the U.S. transportation system—and to increase investments in ITS in the companion House legislation accordingly.