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IBTTA Statement on Today’s Release of the Reason Foundation’s New Study, “Value-Added Tolling: A Better Deal for America’s Highway Users"

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, March 27, 2014
CONTACT: Kristofer Eisenla, LUNA+EISENLA media
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Value-Added Tolling “A Sound Basis” for Thinking About Rebuilding America’s Interstate Highway System

WASHINGTON, DC – The International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (IBTTA), the worldwide association representing toll facility owners and operators and businesses that serve them, reacted today to the Reason Foundation’s release of a new study, “Value-Added Tolling: A Better Deal for America’s Highway Users” authored by Searle Freedom Trust Transportation Fellow, Robert W. Poole, Jr.

IBTTA’s Executive Director and CEO, Patrick D. Jones, offered the following statement in support of the new study calling value-added tolling “a sound basis” for how to rebuild the Interstate Highway System:

“The Reason Foundation policy brief, ‘Value-Added Tolling,’ constitutes a sound basis on which to think about how to rebuild America’s Interstate Highway System using proven methods of toll financing that have been around for hundreds of years.” 

“America’s 5,000-plus miles of tolled highways, bridges and tunnels generate more than $12 billion per year in transportation funding, without putting stress on the already limited budgets of local, state and federal governments.  Now that most toll facilities are migrating to all electronic toll collection, tolls are easier to implement, cheaper to collect and more acceptable to the public than ever before.  Tolling is one of the tools in the financing tool box. While not appropriate in every circumstance, it is one of the most effective and proven ways to finance the construction, operation and maintenance of heavily traveled road, bridge and tunnel infrastructure.

“In addition, with toll financing, people know where their money is going. It goes to retire the toll road debt, support toll road operations, and pay for the vital maintenance needed to preserve the roadway.”

According to the Reason Foundation’s new study, the “Value-Added Tolling” concept calls for a new model that would apply to newly tolled highways, such as rebuilt interstate roads. The “Value-Added Tolling” concept’s aim is to establish tolling as a true highway user fee, not a hybrid of toll and tax, and to offer a positive response to long-standing concerns of highway user groups. The five policies are:

  • Limit the use of toll revenues to the tolled facilities;
  • Charge only enough to cover the capital and operating costs of the tolled facilities;
  • Begin tolling only when construction or reconstruction is finished;
  • Use tolls to replace—not supplement—existing fuel taxes.
  • Provide a higher level of service for tolled Interstates.

These policies are explained in greater detail in this brief overview of the new study released today.  The full study can also be downloaded online, here.

Robert W. Poole, Jr., the Searle Freedom Trust Transportation Fellow and Director of Transportation Policy for the Reason Foundation, is scheduled to speak to the IBTTA Board of Directors in Jersey City, New Jersey, on Friday, April 4th.

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About IBTTA
The International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (IBTTA) is the worldwide association for the owners and operators of toll facilities 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.