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Tolling Points

IBTTA and Members Provide Sage Advice to Connecticut Tolling Discussion

By: 
Bill Cramer

As Connecticut legislators move ever closer to re-introducing tolls on some of the state’s highways, they have received expert advice, testimony and studies from IBTTA and several members such as CDM Smith and HNTB Corporation.

Last month, in an op ed for Hartford Business Journal, HNTB Vice President Carrie Rocha, who leads the company’s Connecticut office, made a data-driven case for what the state stands to gain from tolling some of its key highway infrastructure.

Rocha argued that:

  • The average Connecticut driver travelled more than 12,000 miles in 2013, and 87% of the state’s commuters use their cars to get to work.
  • Connecticut’s 730,000 full-time jobs, along with the $34.8 billion in wages and $6.3 billion in state and local income they generate, “are completely dependent on the state's transportation infrastructure network.”
  • Foreseeable population growth of 60,000 new residents and 110,000 new employees “will put additional pressures on our transportation network for people to get to work, school and social functions, and allow our economy to continue to function.”
  • The average Hartford commuter already loses about 45 hours per year in traffic, at an estimated cost of $1,038 per person and $656 million in total, according to the most recent Urban Mobility Scorecard produced by the Texas Transportation Institute in 2015.
  • More than three-quarters of the state’s freight, valued at $139.1 billion in 2015 and projected at $292 billion per year by 2040, is carried by trucks that depend on reliable highway mobility.
  • Connecticut’s annual transportation deficit is expected to hit $388 million by 2021-22.

“The system of roads and other transit modes delivers people to jobs, and goods and materials to manufacturers, distributors and retailers, enabling the economy to grow and thrive while servicing the people of the Nutmeg State,” she concluded. “Maintaining this asset through thoughtful management includes recognition of ongoing support in the form of sustainable investment funding, sound planning, and prioritization that reflects a community's values.”

IBTTA introduced its Grassroots Toll Kit to help members make an airtight case for tolling as an essential tool in the transportation funding toolbox. We’re in a moment when state and local governments are showing unprecedented interest in tolling, and there’s serious consideration of lifting the federal ban on tolling existing interstate highways to pay for their renewal.

It’s exactly the right time for us all to be raising our voice, sharing our expertise, to get the word out on the benefits of tolling and how it provides greater mobility.

Click here to download your copy of IBTTA’s Grassroots Toll Kit.

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