- Long-term solutions needed, but not tolls on interstates -
Richmond, VA – Members of The Alliance For Toll-Free Interstates believe that maintaining a world-class interstate system is of paramount importance to our quality of life and our economy, and commend the current and former transportation secretaries for pushing for long-term, sustainable solutions to replenish the federal Highway Trust Fund rather than stopgap measures.
“While Monday’s letter from Secretary Anthony Foxx and 11 former transportation secretaries is a reminder of the need for compromise on this critical issue, it is not an endorsement of the widely-panned White House proposal to broaden states’ authority to place new tolls on existing interstates, despite attempts by a pro-tolling group to portray the letter as such,” said ATFI spokesman Julian Walker.
The transportation secretaries make it clear in their letter, which never uses the word toll, that they differ on the right solutions but agree that short-term measures do little to fix the nation’s transportation funding shortfalls. We couldn’t agree more.
Nevertheless, a group of tolling interests opportunistically takes the letter as a chance to tout so-called “bold and gutsy” funding solutions such as “lifting the ban on interstate tolling.”
“Removing longstanding barriers to interstate tolling isn’t gutsy,” Walker said. “To the contrary, it’s a cowardly, pass the buck idea presented by the president that has found no traction in Congress and has been rejected time and again by states.”
Over the years, no state has successfully tolled an existing interstate through the federal pilot program authorizing such tolling. If history is any indication, not one dollar will be raised to improve our infrastructure through that flawed approach.
The Alliance For Toll-Free Interstates is in favor of finding a long-term solution to pay for interstates, but not one that comes at the expense of commuters, families, and businesses. Tolling existing interstates would burden these stakeholders with heavy costs, causing harmful economic ripple effects in their communities.
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