Trump Tolls Would Help Wall Street, Hurt Main Street
Richmond, VA – Advocates for keeping existing interstates toll-free came out in opposition to a component of the Trump Administration’s infrastructure plan. Citing the plan’s “providing states flexibility to toll existing Interstates,” the Alliance for Toll-Free Interstates (ATFI) called the plan a push for widespread tolling. The infrastructure plan seeks a complete reversal of the current federal ban on tolling existing interstates and calls for Congress to introduce legislation that will lead to a patchwork of tolls that span coast to coast.
“Tolls are a wildly inefficient tax, sacrificing money that could go toward construction to corporate profits and administrative costs. In addition to the diversion onto secondary roads which causes congestion and public safety issues, tolls will do unimaginable harm to businesses, as shipping and manufacturing prices skyrocket to account for these new costs,” said Stephanie Kane, spokesperson for the Alliance for Toll-Free Interstates. “This plan is not innovative or good policy - it is simply a nationwide plan for #TrumpTolls.”
The White House infrastructure plan is an about-face of President Trump’s commitment to putting America First. Although then-candidate Trump campaigned against lining the pockets of Wall Street and promised to be the voice for the working class, this plan does the opposite and unfairly shifts the burden of infrastructure funding to states and localities.
“The Trump Administration’s infrastructure plan is choosing Wall Street over Main Street. Tolls will take money from hardworking Americans and give huge profits to toll road investors – many of which are foreign companies,” Kane said.
“Everyone understands the inefficiencies of toll collection and that a large portion goes to investors instead of road construction, but what they may not be aware of is the impact on the cost of doing business. Companies that move goods, such as UPS, rely upon the unrestricted flow of goods on interstates to move freight throughout the country. Nationwide tolls will dramatically impact the cost of moving goods, and ultimately consumers will pay a higher price,” said Rich McArdle, President of UPS Freight.
There is a real opportunity for a long-term solution to our transportation infrastructure needs, but it shouldn’t include tolling our interstates.
The Alliance for Toll-Free Interstates is a coalition of individuals, businesses and organizations working to maintain the longstanding policy of protecting existing interstates from new tolls. ATFI favors long-term solutions to pay for interstates that don’t come at the expense of commuters, families, and businesses or cause harmful economic ripple effects in their communities. ATFI remains committed to educating the public about the ills and economic hardships of tolling existing infrastructure.