Will the federal budget proposal impact the transportation industry?

President Barack Obama's 2014 federal budget proposal is getting quite a bit of feedback from both sides of the aisle, and his suggestions for infrastructure funding are stirring discussions among those in the transportation industry. The plan called for $50 billion to repair the country's highway and bridge infrastructure and, if passed, would cut the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA). Both of these initiatives could have a significant impact on the transportation industry if the budget is approved.

Funding new infrastructure improvements
Transportation companies have long insisted upon better road and bridge funding that will ensure their operations run more smoothly, but some fear the funding from the proposed budget won't be enough to make all the necessary improvements. The American Trucking Associations (ATA) took issue with the proposed funding, claiming it lacked sufficient detail and clarity.

There are many in the industry who believe the federal budget should be clearer and provide more specifics for a plan to improve national infrastructure to actually work and benefit companies across the country. Some have called for a stronger, more detailed plan that goes into depth on which projects will be completed and how each one will be financed.

DERA cuts worry some
While many have expressed concern over the lack of specifics in projected road and bridge projects, others are stressing that the current proposal to cut the DERA could be disastrous for the country and the environment. The initiative helped fleets replace their older diesel engines with more environmentally friendly ones to improve air quality, but funding for the program could be cut by 70 percent if the budget proposal is approved.

Preparing for new government initiatives 
While transportation companies cannot control government projects in regard to infrastructure and funding, they can do their best to adjust quickly to changes and problems they face as a result of federal activity. Implementing solutions that promote agility and adaptability can help businesses work around any challenges and ensure they thrive in spite of any infrastructure or regulatory concerns. Using vehicle routing software, for instance, can help fleets remain as productive as possible and manage to avoid any construction zones or areas with poor infrastructure that may be difficult to pass through as the debate over road funding continues.