In American culture, cars are the undisputed champion of transportation. Our modern and expansive highway system allows automobiles and trucks to gas up and move easily from point A to point B with little inconvenience, save the exception of traffic. As far as other forms of transit go, well, they sit much further down the transportation pyramid.
While many believe gas taxes and tolls are the primary source of funding for roads, an interesting story posted on DC Streetsblog, based on a report from the Tax Foundation, paints a slightly different picture. According to the post, drivers in the United States cover 51 percent of road construction, upkeep, and maintenance costs, with the other 49 percent covered by government subsidies.
Public transit is still more heavily subsidized throughout the U.S. compared to roads, but UC Berkeley Professor Elizabeth Deakin believes those costs are balanced by social and economic gains.