In response to the Trump Administration releasing its 2018 proposed budget and infrastructure initiative fact sheet, which calls for a reduction of the restriction on tolling interstate highways, the Alliance for Toll-Free Interstates issued the following statement which can be attributed to Spokesperson Stephanie Kane:
“We are very concerned about how heavily the Trump Administration wants to rely upon public-private partnerships to fund our roads and the idea of loosening the federal restriction on tolling interstate highways. As outlined in the proposed budget, leveraging $200 billion public dollars into a $1 trillion transportation plan will only be possible through widespread tolling to produce private sector profits.
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 also hurt businesses, communities and economies where they are located.
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.
Tolling existing interstates is an idea that has been already considered and rejected. The now 19-year-old pilot program to toll existing interstates has 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 tolling.
There is a rising tide of opposition to tolling and growing support for federal investment in infrastructure. President Trump and Congress should demonstrate leadership by making 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.”
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