The Alliance for Toll-Free Interstates (ATFI) applauds the U.S. House for passing a multi-year highway and transit bill, the “Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015” (STRR Act). We are pleased that the House took into account its constituents’ vocal opposition to tolling existing interstates and did not expand the number of states eligible to impose new tolls under the Interstate System Reconstruction & Rehabilitation Pilot Program (ISRRPP). The STRR Act differs from the Senate’s DRIVE Act passed in July in two important ways that help prevent the tolling of existing interstates: the House bill requires states to have enabling legislation before the tolling pilot can be implemented and does not allow the diversion of toll funds for purposes other than improvements to the tolled road. When the House and Senate come together to reconcile the differences between their transportation bills, ATFI urges the House to reject any tolling expansion components of the Senate’s DRIVE Act.
Both bills add a provision that forces the ISRRPP slots to be transferred to new states after a short period of inactivity, a change that ATFI urges Congress to reconsider in conference. The three states that hold these slots have provided 17 years’ worth of evidence that tolling existing interstates is not a viable transportation funding method. The ISRRPP is an outdated pilot program that should ultimately be repealed in its entirety.
To learn more about AFTI and join the Alliance please visit www.tollfreeinterstates.com. In addition to joining ATFI you can stay connected by following the Alliance on Twitter at @No2Tolls and Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TollFreeInterstates