The Alliance for Toll-Free Interstates praised the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW) for putting forward transportation legislation that would fund highway infrastructure without tolling existing interstate highways.
In a statement issued May 14, the Alliance said tolling existing interstates represents a poor choice for generating transportation revenues because of its high bureaucratic costs and inefficiencies. The group also cited safety concerns for the traveling public.
“Tolling existing interstates is a poor choice to generate transportation revenue for a number of reasons, including inefficiency, which plagues even electronic toll collection, consuming up to 20 percent of collected revenue with collection and bureaucratic costs,” Miles Morin, spokesman for the Alliance for Toll-Free Interstates, said. “There are proven privacy concerns with mandatory electronic tolling, and interstate tolls can make commuting to work or traveling too expensive for some Americans, restricting their employment options and ability to move throughout the country.”
The Senate EPW Committee proposal comes in the wake of an Obama Administration transportation plan that includes opening all existing interstates to new tolls. The Administration’s proposal, unveiled DATE, met with staunch opposition from a variety of industries, members of Congress, and the public.
In a May 15 Roll Call editorial, “Interstate Tolling is a Bad Idea,” the Alliance criticized the Administration’s proposal, arguing that tolling is a gimmick that double taxes motorists who have already paid for highway infrastructure through their motor fuels taxes and then diverts the revenues to other purposes.
“This kind of toll proposal sounds more like a tax and less like a user fee,” Morin wrote.
To read the complete editorial, click here.
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