NATSO, Anti-Tolling Coalition, Battle Tolling Initiatives

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With the Trump Administration considering a $1 trillion infrastructure package that relies heavily on private dollars, governors, legislatures and transportation officials across the country already are laying the groundwork for new tolls.

Tolling existing interstates currently is prohibited under federal law. The list of states interested in tolling is expected to grow, however, as an increasing number of state legislatures struggle to pay for infrastructure and as slots open up under a federal program that allows three states the ability to toll an existing interstate called the Interstate Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Pilot Program (ISRRPP).

The Alliance for Toll-Free Interstates, of which NATSO is a founding member, has been actively engaged in fighting a number of state efforts to expand tolling:

Indiana: Indiana House Bill 1002 would allow tolls to be placed on existing roads without legislative approval. The bill has passed the House and is currently in committee in the Indiana Senate. ATFI has created a petition campaign to oppose the bill’s tolling language: NoTollsIndiana.com. The petition has more than 1,600 signees, and ATFI members have been activating their Hoosier members in opposition to the tolling effort. All Indiana residents are encouraged to sign the petition and follow the campaign on www.facebook.com/NoTollsIndiana and www.twitter.com/NoTollsIndiana.

Missouri: Missouri currently possesses one of three Interstate System Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Pilot Program (ISRRPP) slots—allowing the state to toll an existing interstate. HB 155 would grant the state authority to place a toll in Interstate 70. ATFI has partnered with A Better Road Forward MO to campaign against the tolling effort currently underway in Jefferson City. If you live in Missouri, follow the campaign at www.facebook.com/BetterRoadMO/.

Oregon: Tolling existing interstates is illegal under federal law with the exception of a few government programs. Due to a use-it-or-lose-it provision added to the ISRRPP in 2015, two of the three state slots to create a tolling pilot are now up in the air. The Oregon Department of Transportation has made clear that it intends to apply for an ISRRPP slot once available.

Connecticut: In March, Connecticut House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz called the return of tolls "inevitable." Already this legislative session, the Connecticut General Assembly has moved on H.B. 6058—a bill to allow the Department of Transportation to construct, maintain and operate electronic tolling systems on highways in this state. While the bill still needs to move through the legislative process, the Speaker’s comments make clear tolling may be on the horizon in Connecticut.

NATSO and ATFI stand ready to oppose any effort to toll exiting interstates.

NATSO members are urged to oppose the tolling of existing interstates by signing the petition at tollfreeinterstates.com and to follow ATFI on Facebook at Facebook.com/TollFreeInterstates.

Photo credit: Carol Jean Stalun/NATSO

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