Tolling industry supports USDOT strategic framework

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The tolling industry released a statement this week in support of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s draft Strategic Framework and has made recommendations on how to ensure more sustainable transportation revenue.

The International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (IBTTA), the worldwide association for toll facility owners and operators, as well as the businesses that support them, said in a press release this week that it supports the USDOT’s six goals stated in the draft Strategic Framework — safety, economic strength and global competitiveness, equity, climate and sustainability, transformation, and organizational excellence.

“IBTTA and its members share the goal of safety as one of our highest priorities, and that toll facility owners and operators are committed to doing their part to reduce transportation-related serious injuries and fatalities,” Pat Jones, executive director and CEO of IBTTA, said. “IBTTA’s U.S. toll operator members manage some of the most critical assets in the nation’s highway system that move people and goods reliably and productively, contributing to a vibrant and growing economy and maintaining U.S. global competitiveness.”

In a letter to the USDOT as part of the public comment phase of the proposed Strategic Framework, the association recommended that a focus on revenue be added to the framework and called for the draft to address the role of user fees, like tolling, potential mileage-based user fees, and changes to the gas tax. Calling transportation revenue a growing crisis, the association said the inability of the federal model of revenue based on fuel taxes would not provide a sustainable source of ongoing transportation funding. The association said the USDOT urgently needed to recognize the need for “ongoing, sustainable, and dedicated sources of transportation revenue.”

Pointing to its own task forces on Sustainability and Resilience and on Diversity, Social and Racial Inclusion, IBTTA suggested the USDOT would benefit from added focus on relevance for decision making and exponential growth in data and information on future mobility solutions.