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Press Release

IBTTA Applauds President for Emphasizing Need to Create Jobs Rebuilding Our Nation’s Transportation Infrastructure

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, January 28, 2014
CONTACT: Kristofer Eisenla, LUNA+EISENLA media
Kristofer@lunaeisenlamedia.com | 202-670-5747 (mobile)
 

SOTU Reaction from the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association  

IBTTA Applauds President for Emphasizing Need to Create Jobs Rebuilding Our Nation’s Transportation Infrastructure Urges President and Congress to Give States “Maximum Flexibility” to Solve Highway Funding Crisis
 

WASHINGTON, DC – After President Barack Obama delivered the 2014 State of the Union Address, Patrick Jones, Executive Director and CEO of the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association, the worldwide association representing toll facility owners and operators and the businesses that serve them, released the following statement:

 “We applaud President Obama for shining a bright light on the need ‘to create jobs rebuilding our roads, upgrading our ports, unclogging our commutes – because in today’s global economy, first-class jobs gravitate to first-class infrastructure.  We’ll need Congress to protect more than three million jobs by finishing transportation and waterways bills this summer.’ We also salute the Congress for making plans to move forward with timely reauthorization of MAP-21.   

“The transportation funding needs of states are great. The resources of the federal government are limited. Therefore, we ask Congress and the President to give states maximum flexibility to meet their individual transportation funding needs, including the use of tolling on the existing Interstate highway system. 

“While we respect the President’s willingness ‘to create jobs rebuilding our roads,’ we know that no one source of revenue can be sufficient to build, maintain, and reconstruct our nation’s bridges, tunnels, and highways. Now is the time for Congress, the President, and other elected leaders to seriously consider all options to meet our country’s transportation funding needs. Tolling is one of the most powerful, effective, and proven tools in the funding toolbox.”

“The more than 60 U.S. toll agency members of IBTTA generate more than $10 billion per year in toll revenue, and most of them receive no federal or state funds to support their day-to-day operations. That means their contribution to highway operations and maintenance is already equal to nearly one-third of the federal gas tax revenues collected each year.”

Earlier this month, IBTTA submitted testimony for the record to the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure committee hearing on Building the Foundation for Surface Transportation Reauthorization. IBTTA’s written testimony stressed the important role tolling plays in establishing a direct link between the roads motorists use and the fees they pay:  

“The use of tolls is a central component to this nation’s transportation funding system. Tolls establish a direct connection between the use of the road and payment for that use. For too long, motorists have falsely believed our roads are free. Our highways are not free nor have they ever been. However, it’s easy to see why that misperception persists. There is no direct link between paying the fuel tax and using the roads it funds. Tolling re-establishes that connection.” 

In 2013, IBTTA launched Moving America Forward, a public awareness campaign that highlights the benefits of tolling to elected officials, policymakers, the media, and the general public. For additional information on the campaign, including fact sheets, background documents, and other materials, please click here.

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About IBTTA

The International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (IBTTA) is the worldwide association representing toll facility owners and operators and the businesses that serve them. Founded in 1932, IBTTA has members in more than 20 countries on six continents. Through advocacy, thought leadership and education, members are implementing state-of-the-art, innovative user-based transportation financing solutions to address the critical infrastructure challenges of the 21st century. For more information, visit www.ibtta.org or join us on Twitter @IBTTA or #TollRoads.