NATSO, the national association representing truckstops and travel plazas, applauded Congress for passing the bipartisan, five-year $305 billion highway reauthorization bill, “Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act.”
The trade association reiterated its concern, however, with a provision that amends the federal tolling pilot program known as the Interstate Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Pilot Program (ISRRPP) and opens the door to an increased number of tolling applications under the program.
“We commend Congress for passing a long-term plan for our nation’s highways and ensuring that highway and infrastructure programs are fully funded for the next five years. Congress has demonstrated that we can finance the nation’s infrastructure program without resorting to imposing tolls on existing interstates,” said NATSO President and CEO Lisa Mullings. “Although the FAST Act did not expand the number of tolling slots under the federal tolling pilot program, imposing a use it or lose it rule on state tolling pilot projects will allow additional tolling applications. Tolls are an inefficient, counter-productive means of raising revenue for the nation’s highways that jeopardize the safety of the traveling public. In the interest of building a safer, more efficient infrastructure network, NATSO will continue to oppose all efforts to toll existing interstates under the pilot program.”
States now have a three-year deadline to obtain tolling approval under the pilot program, with the possibility of a one-year extension, after which time the slot could be transferred to another state.
NATSO thinks the ISRRPP should be repealed in its entirety.