Tolling I-95 is the Wrong Solution for Virginia and the Nation

Sep 19, 2011, 18:14 ET from American Trucking Associations

ARLINGTON, Va., Sept. 19, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Tolling Interstate 95, as proposed today by Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, would harm the state, as well as the nation’s economy, more than help repair the corridor, American Trucking Associations President and CEO Bill Graves said in a statement.


“While it is true that I-95 is one of the ‘most important and heavily traveled highway corridors in the country,’ as Gov. McDonnell says, there are far more expeditious and efficient ways of raising revenue for its upkeep than tolls,” Graves said. “Study after study shows that tolls carry astronomically higher capital and overhead expenditures compared to the fuel tax.

“Raising the fuel tax provides revenue immediately, rather than over several years like tolling, and it doesn’t require upfront investment to build a government bureaucracy to collect it,” Graves said. “While many see tolling as a way to avoid raising taxes, tolls certainly are taxes and imposing them is certainly not a ‘conservative’ way to finance highways.”

In addition to the financing inequity, Graves said imposing tolls would only add to I-95’s congestion, or worse, drive trucks off onto smaller secondary roads that aren’t designed to handle the increased traffic.

“The Interstate Highway System was designed to promote the free flow of goods across our country. Setting up toll booths at our borders and near our cities will restrict those goods and harm our economy,” Graves said.

Proposals like this one, Graves said, are a symptom of the problems the federal government has had in passing a long-term highway bill.

“As a former governor, I know that when Washington abdicates its responsibility, states must step up to fill the void,” he said. “If President Obama and Congress were serious about creating jobs and improving our roads and bridges, they would quickly pass a long-term, well-funded transportation bill focused on critical corridors like I-95.”

American Trucking Associations is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. Through a federation of 50 affiliated state trucking associations and industry-related conferences and councils, ATA is the voice of the industry America depends on most to move our nation’s freight. Follow ATA on Twitter or on Facebook. Good stuff. Trucks Bring It!

SOURCE American Trucking Associations