AP quotes Rep Don Young chairman of the House transport committee: ``People who are subject to tolling would rather pay a little more at the pump than go through the entire process that tolling encompasses." And he added: ``If you had a national highway system set up on tolling you'd never get anywhere.'' (2004-02-01)
Fresno mayor Alan Autry wants tolls on CA-99 to generate revenue and fund improvements. CA-99 extends from a split with I-5 south of Bakersfield 460km (285mi) to Sacramento. It is the main street of the Central Valley going through the middle of cities such as Tulare, Visalia, Fresno, Madera, Merced, Turlock, Modesto, Manteca, and Stockton. Fresno the largest has a population of about 450k. The FRESNO BEE newspaper quotes Autry as saying: "This is a way of controlling our own destiny."
Jim Carroll a pioneer of investor built roads in America has changed horses - departing Fluor Corp for Fluor's competitor and sometimes collaborator Washington Group Int (WGI). Carroll officially James R but referred to by those around him in his old Greenville SC office of Fluor as Jim-Bob is famous for affecting the appearance and manners of a backwoods ole boy, but behind that veneer of innocent simplicity has a reputation for shrewdness and results.
A public opinion survey in Minnesota finds that 69% of the public favors new toll express lanes while 23% would prefer the gas tax raised to pay for extra untolled capacity. The survey of a random 821 adults was conducted by the Star Tribune newspaper Jan 15 to 20 and the results were published Jan 28. This was just after the governor Tim Pawlenty and transport sec Carol Moinau had announced his program to build toll express lanes on the Minneapolis-St Paul metro area's most congested freeways.
I-PASS accounts can now be accessed and managed online. The Illinois Tollway's transponder customers can now go to www.illinoistollway.com or www.getipass.com to check on recent toll transactions, update bank or credit card information, add funds to their prepaid balance, add or subtract vehicles to the account, or make changes to the license plate number on record.
Jonathan Richmond of MIT and Harvard has done important research into how passenger rail got revived in the US despite its dismal performance. We hope no tollroad promoters would be as unscrupulous: "Many transit managers produce high ridership forecasts to sell a system to decision-makers. Later, as the actual opening date of the project approaches, they issue new lower numbers against which the project will appear successful.
Writing in the Brussels-based E!Sharp magazine London mayor Ken Livingstone does his familiar pitch for his central London congestion charges but he also chides the EU for its inability to come up with a coherent policy on road pricing. He says there is a danger in draft policies that they will impede toll initiatives like that in London.
Germany's transport minister (secretary) Manfred Stople is expected to decide in the next few days whether to go along with proposals for a two-stage intoduction of truck tolls on the country's autobahn (motorway) system. Toll Collect GmbH (TC), the toll contractor led by DaimlerChrysler was responding to an ultimatum from the government to come up with a firm proposal by the end of the month for fixing the system.
The Charlotte area (pop 1.5m) is likely to get two of the first three tollroads in North Carolina according to state officials. These are the Garden Parkway US321 and the Monroe Bypass US74. The third officials say will be in the Wilmington area (pop 233k) on the Atlantic coast.
The 5-member Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission unanimously approved the staff recommended 44% increase in toll rates Jan 21. The new toll rate for cars will be 5.9c/mi (3.7c/km) up from 4.1c/mi (2.6c/km), and the average truck rate increases from 12.4c/mi to 17.7c/mi (7.7c/km to 11c/km) - effective Aug 1. The last toll increase was June 1, 1991 and the increase in the CPI in the interim is almost precisely the chosen percentage increase in tolls.