Groups push for tolling throughout North America, Europe

By David Tanner, Land Line associate editor | 6/5/2013

If certain groups get their way, more and more governments will be considering toll roads as a silver bullet to their highway funding problems. But that’s only if they get their way.

Two global associations that represent tollway operators and pro-tolling businesses have signed an “international joint tolling declaration” to push the concept of tolling throughout North America and Europe.

The International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association, known as IBTTA, and its European counterpart, known as ASECAP, signed their tolling declaration May 27 during a summit in the European country of Croatia.

The groups used buzzwords like flexibility, transparency, fairness and sustainability to describe tolling as a financial tool for governments and turnpike agencies to use.

One of IBTTA’s stated goals is to toll existing interstates.

Their tactics are not lost on truckers, who already pay taxes for every mile of interstate they travel.

“For quite a while, this group has been engaged in promoting tolling as the solution to our transportation funding challenges,” OOIDA Director of Legislative Affairs Ryan Bowley said.

“The way that they’re doing it is by painting tolling as having no real problems or challenges and as a cost-free solution for highway funding, which truckers know is not the case at all.”

Bowley said tolls paid by truckers and other highway users paid for the groups to get together in Europe and partner up on ways to toll more highways.

“It’s interesting that the toll road association here in the United States is now working to partner with associations oversees that have some of the same firms that want to come over and invest in toll infrastructure here in the U.S.,” Bowley said.

Copyright © OOIDA