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Tolling Points

Public Awareness Video Shows Tolling, Moving Smarter

By: 
Bill Cramer

The tolling industry is at the table and changing the tone of the conversation about transportation funding and finance, according to a six-minute video released this morning at the beginning of IBTTA’s 82nd

“Two years ago, IBTTA saw a critical need for a public awareness campaign, to say in the clearest possible way what tolling is all about and help people understand the benefits of toll-financed transportation,” the narrator begins.

“We set out to tell the toll industry story to elected officials, policy-makers, the media and the general public. We developed a plan. We established a budget. We raised the money. And we went to work.”



The video traces the milestones IBTTA has achieved with its Moving America Forward campaign, including President Barack Obama’s April 29, 2014 proposal to end the federal ban on tolling Interstate highways to pay for their reconstruction. “It was President Eisenhower who gave this country the
Interstate highway system, and the Obama Administration is at least floating the idea of states charging tolls to pay for their repair,” said NBC News anchor Brian Williams.

“The Congress must lift the ban on tolling federally accredited highways, said former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, Co-Chair of Building America’s
Future. “If they want the private sector to invest, they’ve got to give us tools to allow a return on investment. And this idea that, well, we paid for it
once? Well, that’s idiotic.”

The video features news footage of Ohio Gov. John Kasich signing legislation to allow tolling on the new Brent Spence Bridge, with Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear commenting that “if there’s some way of building this bridge without them, that would be great. But from what you see all across the country right now, there isn’t any major bridge project going on that doesn’t have tolls as some part of the financing mechanism.”

“One of the ways the federal government can get out of the way is to give states the opportunity, the option, to toll existing lanes of Interstate highways for the purpose of rebuilding those Interstate highways,” IBTTA Executive Director and CEO Pat Jones told NPR host Diane Rehm.

Over the last two years, the association has been meeting with elected officials, talking with media, and establishing itself as a thought leader in the public policy debate on transportation funding and finance. As a result, tolling “is getting to be a prime solution that governments—state, regional, local—can utilize to help them build that infrastructure and get their people out of congestion,” said IBTTA President Mike
Heiligenstein.

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