A bill that would let states levy tolls on new interstate highway lanes added for congestion relief--to defray their cost of construction--has been introduced by U.S. Reps Mark Kennedy (R-Minn.), Adam Smith (D-Wash.) and Sen. Wayne Allard (R-Colo.).
The measure (H.R. 1767), dubbed the "Freeing Alternatives for Speedy Transportation (FAST)" bill would repeal a 1958 federal prohibition on placing tolls or fees on roadway within the interstate highway system. At that time, several states with pre-existing highways incorporated into the interstate highway system--such as Pennsylvania and New York--were exempted from the legislation.
"Our nation's economic success depends on a highway system that ensures both personal safety and efficiency," Allard said. "We must look to creative policies that will pave the way to a better future."
Supporters of the concept note that tolled congestion-relief lanes "are a user-choice option, where those who use it pay for the additional interstate capacity."
The lawmakers propose a no-tollbooth approach, with electronic toll collection to keep traffic moving, and would lift the tolls as soon as the infrastructure they had paid to build was paid off.