NATSO joined more than 80 organizations representing a cross-section of the U.S. economy in urging members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee to reject expanding tolling on existing interstates when it marks up a long-term highway bill June 24.
In a letter dated June 16, members of the Alliance for Toll-Free Interstates (ATFI), of which NATSO is a founding member, urged members of the EPW Committee to reject any measures to expand the tolling pilot program known as the Interstate System Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Pilot Program (ISRRPP).
“Pilot programs exist to gauge the viability of an idea, and the ISRRPP has proven that tolling existing interstates is not a feasible option,” the organizations wrote in the letter. “It should be repealed, not expanded.”
Current federal law prohibits the tolling of existing interstates, except for three slots under the Interstate System Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Pilot Program. EPW is looking to increase that number to five.
In the ISRRPP’s 17 years, no state has successfully tolled an existing interstate, despite concerted efforts by Departments of Transportation in the slot-holding states of Virginia, North Carolina, Missouri and applications from many others.
The businesses and organizations highlighted the harmful consequences of tolling, including traffic diversion to secondary, less-safe roads and the financial implications for exist-based businesses and local communities.
NATSO joined the American Trucking Associations and all 50 of its state affiliates, the American Highway Users Alliance, McDonald’s, SIGMA, the National Council of Chain Restaurants and the Farm Bureau among others in signing the letter.
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