The Alliance for Toll-Free Interstates (ATFI) applauds U.S. Senate and House conferees for reaching agreement on a multi-year highway and transit bill, the “Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act” (FAST Act). We are pleased that the conference committee took into account its constituents’ vocal opposition to tolling existing interstates and did not expand the number of states eligible to impose new tolls under the Interstate System Reconstruction & Rehabilitation Pilot Program (ISRRPP). ATFI commends the Senate for receding language from its DRIVE Act that would have made toll funds fungible and decreased public input on proposed tolling projects through the ISRRPP. The bill language regarding tolling draws heavily from the House’s STRR Act, favored by ATFI, and requires that states demonstrate authority to enact the pilot before a slot is granted. Unfortunately, the FAST Act adds a 3-year expiration period to the three tolling pilot program slots, with the possibility of a 1-year extension, and gives current applicants 1 year to complete their applications. This will likely open the door to additional applications in the future.
The ISRRPP is an outdated pilot program that should ultimately be repealed in its entirety. ATFI will continue to oppose all efforts to toll existing Interstates under this program.
To learn more about AFTI and join the Alliance please visit www.tollfreeinterstates.com. In addition to joining ATFI you can stay connected by following the Alliance on Twitter at @No2Tolls and Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TollFreeInterstates