Gov. Edwards speaks at first meeting of La. transportation task force

Gov. Edwards speaks at first meeting of La. transportation task force

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The goal of a new task force is to bring about changes to Louisiana's transportation system, the likes of which haven't been seen in 30 years.

Gov. John Bel Edwards spoke at the Transportation Task Force's first meeting Tuesday. He told the group, which is bipartisan and led by businesses and community, that they have a chance to make real change happen.

"It's a big factor in quality of life too," Edwards said. "Nobody wants to sit in traffic when you're trying to get to a little league game or to get to and from work in the morning. It's a quality of life issue."

Observers said that if the task force is able to agree on things, their recommendations have a really good chance of becoming a reality and could make way for some of the biggest transportation improvements in Louisiana since the late 1980s.

Edwards said the toughest part will be to find the money needed to pay for the projects which could include an increase in the state's gasoline tax.

"I don't know any other way to say this, I know and you know that the Easter bunny isn't going to the deliver these transportation projects," he said. "So, by commissioning you and giving you this charge, I understand we are going to have to explore revenue options to fund this investment."

The governor said drivers might need to pay more for gas by raising the gasoline tax.

Edwards said they have already won a few battles, securing the $60 million from fast lane grant, which is a first. That, of course, doesn't hardly put a dent into the infamous $12 billion backlog.

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