BLOOMBERG, Pa. — Truckers who use the well-travelled I-80 through Pennsylvania may soon have to pay a toll.
The Pennsylvania Turnpike Authority is moving ahead with a plan to slap a toll on the freeway, despite protests from organizations including the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA). The owner/operator association contends the tolls are being applied despite the lack of public scrutiny, safety issues and costs to industry.
There needs to be an examination of how current resources are being used before the public is asked to pay more for a system of financing that the public is beginning to question and distrust, said OOIDA executive vice-president, Todd Spencer. There is no doubt that converting I-80 into a toll road will have a devastating economic impact on small business professionals like our members, on the trucking industry and on the Commonwealth as a whole. There are far too many public officials that are either unwilling to tighten their belts and put highway funding actually towards highways or simply are just looking for a quick fix to funding problems while they are in office, regardless of the impact on the future of the Commonwealth.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission inked a deal recently that would allow the turnpike commission to charge tolls under a 50-year lease agreement. The deal still requires approval from the Federal Highway Administration before the tolls can be applied.
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