Following President Trump’s remarks closing the White House’s Infrastructure Week, the Alliance for Toll-Free Interstates issued the following statement, which can be attributed to spokesperson Stephanie Kane:
When Trump talks about “states’ freedom and flexibility to choose how they fund transportation,” he means “encouraging states to toll.” That’s not a plan; that’s passing the buck. As history shows, states such as North Carolina and Virginia had that option for almost two decades and rejected tolling existing interstates, even passing legislation to make that option more difficult to approve.
When Trump says “investors will be encouraged to invest billions,” he means “Wall Street profits will be in the billions from tolling everyday Americans.”
Privatization is a euphemism for forcing the tax-paying public to inflate Wall Street profits. For roadways, that means tolls. Tolls are the worst funding mechanism available and are a highly inefficient use of funds.
With privatization and tolling in particular, Americans will pay more and get less. Considering President Trump calls himself a master dealmaker, his road-funding plan may be a great deal for Wall Street millionaires, but it’s a bad deal for the American public.
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 the states, where voters have repeatedly opposed tolling.