Tolls represent a regressive tax that disproportionately hurts lower income drivers and will create significant disruptions for local communities, a representative of the Alliance for Toll-Free Interstates said in a recent interview with National Public Radio (NPR).
Spreaking with NPR about the Trump Administration's infrastructure plan and the need to shore up the federal Highway Trust Fund, ATFI spokeswoman Stephanie Kane said, "No other road funding mechanisms come with half as long a list of drawbacks and disruptions for the communities where they're located [as tolls]."
Kane said that when freeways are turned into tollways, drivers go out of their way to avoid the tolls, creating traffic diversion onto secondary roads that were not built for such traffic volumes and creating more local congestion.
The Trump Administration is preparing to announce its national infrastructure guidelines before the State of the Union on Jan. 30. The president has promised to invest a trillion dollars in the nation's infrastructure. But early details of the plan indicate only $200 billion will come from the federal treasury.
Although formal details of the Administration's plan are yet to be seen, the Administration has indicated that it plans that $200 billion to leverage the rest from state and local governments and the private sector.
Kane says members of ATFI, which includes the truckstop and travel plaza industry as well as trucking and shipping companies, are "extremely concerned about how much the Trump administration's infrastructure package [could] rely on tolling."
Kane said tollways are an inefficient way to collect revenue, with 8 to 11 cents of every dollar collected going toward administrative overhead, collection of the tolls and construction of electronic tolling apparatus.
NATSO has long-supported an increase in the federal motor fuels tax, which hasn't been raised since 1993, as the best way to increase infrastructure revenues.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently called for a 25 cents a gallon increase in the gas tax phased in over five years.
Subscribe to Updates
NATSO provides a breadth of information created to strengthen travel plazas’ ability to meet the needs of the travelling public in an age of disruption. This includes knowledge filled blog posts, articles and publications. If you would like to receive a digest of blog post and articles directly in your inbox, please provide your name, email and the frequency of the updates you want to receive the email digest.