The International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (IBTTA), the worldwide transportation association representing toll facility owners, operators and the businesses that serve them, applauds Congressional conferees for reaching agreement on a long-term surface transportation bill.
“With today’s release of the conference report to reauthorize federal transportation programs, the five-year, $286 billion 'Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act,' Congress has taken an important step to provide the certainty needed to move forward on transportation improvements across the country,” said Patrick D. Jones, Executive Director and CEO of IBTTA.
Jones added, “While we review all 1,300 pages of the conference report, we are pleased that it contains important improvements to federal tolling programs. We particularly want to express our strong support for Section 1411. Tolling; HOV Facilities; Interstate Reconstruction and Rehabilitation. This section would allow States to consider the use of tolls for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the Interstate System in their respective states. In addition, this section streamlines the process for approval and implementation of state pilot programs so that states that are ready to move forward are able to do so. Providing this type of flexibility to three states is an important and modest step to enable states to meet the growing funding needs of the aging Interstate System.”
Jones concluded, “While we urge Members of Congress to quickly pass this conference report, we remain concerned about the lack of any long-term, sustainable funding stream for transportation programs into the future. IBTTA and the tolling industry are ready to work with Congress, state officials and other stakeholders over the next few years to identify funding sources and other financing and funding tools that can serve as the basis for the next reauthorization bill.”
There are many reasons why tolling is growing in use and support across this nation and around the world. Tolling is a proven transportation funding option with a long track record. This past October, the Pennsylvania Turnpike and the Ohio Turnpike celebrated their 75th and 60th Anniversary’s, respectively. With more than 54 million electronic toll transponders in use across America, electronic tolling is reducing congestion, enhancing safety and keeping businesses and drivers moving. That is important to jobs for a growing economy.