The International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (IBTTA) has welcomed the Trump Administration’s call to reduce the restriction on Interstate tolling to, ‘allow the States to assess their transportation needs and weigh the relative merits of tolling assets’.
President Trump’s call to “Liberalize Tolling Policy and Allow Private Investment in Rest Areas” came in a fact sheet accompanying the release of his FY 2018 Budget. In the document, the Administration says: ‘Tolling is generally restricted on interstate highways. This restriction prevents public and private investment in such facilities. We should reduce this restriction and allow the States to assess their transportation needs and weigh the relative merits of tolling assets. The Administration also supports allowing the private sector to construct, operate, and maintain interstate rest areas, which are often overburden and inadequately maintained.’
Patrick D Jones, executive director and CEO of the IBTTA applauded the President and his Administration for supporting the use of tolling as a funding source for infrastructure development. On behalf of the worldwide association for the owners and operators of toll facilities and the businesses that serve them, Jones stated, “Today, the Trump Administration became the second straight White House to call for easing the ban on Interstate tolling and giving states the maximum flexibility needed to make the best funding decisions for their local transportation projects.”
He continued, “We applaud President Trump’s support and call on Congress to immediately join with the President to reduce burdensome regulations that prevent state and local governments from utilizing all available funding mechanisms. Toll financing may not be the answer for every highway, bridge, or tunnel project in the country, but the power of tolling is proven and effective. Combined with the President’s proposed investment in infrastructure, tolling can provide valuable resources to the states to tackle transportation infrastructure projects. We look forward to working with both President Trump and Congress to meet our 21st Century transportation needs.”
A total of 35 states and territories throughout the country have used tolling in one form or another to help pay for infrastructure development. There are currently over 5,900 miles (9,500km) of tolled roads throughout the USA that generate over US$13bn in toll revenues annually and support billions of dollars of capital investments each year. There are currently tolled sections on 77 Interstate highways, including bridges and tunnels.