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Press Release

Worldwide Tolling Association Commends ASCE for Report Card on State of America’s Infrastructure


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 26, 2013
CONTACT: Kristofer Eisenla, Luna Eisenla Media
kristofer@lunaeisenlamedia.com | 202-670-5747 (mobile)


Calls on Congress to Allow States More Flexibility in Highway Funding

WASHINGTON – The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) recently released its 2013 Report Card for American Infrastructure, which gave our nation’s infrastructure an overall grade of D+. Patrick Jones, Executive Director and CEO of the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (IBTTA), the worldwide association representing toll facility owners and operators and the businesses that serve them, today released the following statement suggesting that “ASCE’s report card is a wake up call for more flexibility in highway funding.”

“We thank ASCE for shining a bright light on the failing condition of vital infrastructure in America. A major lesson from this report is that much of our infrastructure is eroding because the funding system is deficient. It’s no coincidence that many of the best examples of well-built, well-maintained highways operate on the user-pay principle and rely on a dedicated funding source: tolls,” said Jones.

To trigger a wave of needed infrastructure investment at the state and local levels, Jones urged Congress to give states the flexibility to develop their own highway funding solutions. As a contributor to National Journal’s Transportation Experts blog, he continued:

Kathryn Wolfe of Politico got it right last week when she observed that “the gas tax that fuels the Highway Trust Fund has been slowly losing ground, eaten up by inflation and the fact that Americans are driving less than they used to, often in increasingly fuel-efficient cars…Meanwhile, the catalog of infrastructure needs continues to grow while advocates for more spending highlight the dire consequences of inaction — both to safety and to economic competitiveness.”

For those who are concerned about the inadequacy of traditional highway funding methods, her post included one very hopeful comment:

“Eventually, though, lawmakers will have to narrow down what funding sources they can tackle. And the debate over potential alternative sources—tolls, for example—may be broader this time…”

We thoroughly agree that the debate over funding sources needs to be much broader. To unlock new funds for highway infrastructure and unleash the creativity we’ve seen in states like Texas and North Carolina, Congress doesn’t need to mandate tolling in all circumstances. It would be very helpful, however, if legislators would recognize tolling as part of a wider toolbox of funding options and allow state and local governments, consulting with their constituents, to pick the funding methods that work best for them.

In January, IBTTA launched Moving America Forward, a public awareness campaign that highlights the benefits of tolling to policy-makers, the media, and other interested parties.

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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.