ATA argues against road tolls

by Truck News

ARLINGTON, Va. – The American Trucking Associations (ATA) has told a House subcommittee that the use of tolls to finance infrastructure construction and maintenance is inefficient, unsafe, and harmful to the trucking industry.

“While the trucking industry is willing to pay its fair share for infrastructure improvement, we believe that tolls are not the right solution, and in fact can be very harmful to our industry, our customers and ultimately, to consumers,” YRC Worldwide CEO Darren Hawkins told the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Subcommittee on Highways & Transit on behalf of ATA.

In his testimony, Hawkins cited inefficiencies in toll collection, traffic diversion and misdirection of toll funds as significant problems with tolling when compared to other financing methods.

“Tolling has very high collection costs relative to other highway user fees,” he said. “While the cost of collection has come down with the introduction of transponders, costs can still exceed 10%. On some major toll facilities, these costs are much higher. On the Ohio Turnpike, for example, 19 cents out of every dollar is spent collecting tolls, while the Pennsylvania Turnpike’s collection costs exceed 20%. Contrast this with the 0.2% cost of collecting federal fuel taxes. Clearly, the waste that goes into collecting a toll is simply unacceptable when far more efficient alternatives are available. Our user fees should be used to build roads, not toll road bureaucracies.”


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  • If they move to federal fuel taxes, then the ATA will complain that they are paying for the infrastructure because of the high “taxes” that they are being charged. Notwithstanding the fact that their fuel tanks are large enough for them to get to a low taxing state rather than where they are driving.
    I would rather see a few percentage points – even 10% or 15% – for toll collections (and the massive employment that it provides) and have a user-pay system.
    Certainly the ATA could be a little more creative