In response to the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee releasing its proposed surface transportation reauthorization bill, the Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America (INVEST in America) Act, the Alliance for Toll-Free Interstates issued the following statement which can be attributed to Communications Director Stephanie Kane:
“We are glad to see the House abandoning tolling pilot programs and placing new guardrails on tolls in their proposal. The repeal of the Interstate System Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Pilot Program (ISRRPP) and a sunset provision for the Value Pricing Pilot Program are long overdue, and new requirements for congestion-pricing tolling will restrict the ill-advised implementation of tolls on existing interstates while holding toll operators accountable for the many negative impacts of tolls.
“Tolling existing interstates is an idea that has been already considered and rejected. The 23-year-old ISRRPP failed in every state that has considered it. When the traveling public, businesses and local governments learn more about potential tolls in their area, they resoundingly reject the idea. Congress should heed this warning and not expand or encourage the conversion of America’s roads into congestion toll roads. As we seek to recover from the devastating economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, tolls will hurt businesses trying to reopen and double tax Americans trying to get back to work.
“We look forward to working with Congress to further strengthen motorist protections. There is a rising tide of opposition to tolling and growing support for federal investment in infrastructure. President Trump and Congress should make the needed investments in our national interstate system, not kicking the proverbial can down the road to states. History at the state level has shown tolls will be rejected once again.”
Tolls are the worst funding mechanism available and are a highly inefficient use of funds, as a significant portion of every dollar collected – typically 12-20% even with all-electronic tolling – goes to administrative costs and to private sector profits rather than building and repairing roads. Tolls hurt businesses, communities and economies where they are located.
Furthermore, studies have shown tolls divert traffic onto secondary roads. Local municipalities are then stuck with expedited maintenance costs and new public safety concerns such as higher accident rates on local roads and first responders delayed by toll-driven congestion.
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