U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters announced new flexibility for states to utilize high speed electronic tolling to relieve congestion and finance infrastructure improvements in a federal register notice.
"Electronic tolling interest is growing in every corner of the U.S. thanks to new technologies, growing congestion and the recognition that traditional approaches cannot solve our transportation challenges," Secretary Peters said.
Secretary Peters said the Express Lanes Demonstration program gives states yet another program that will permit electronic tolling on all U.S. highways, including interstates.
The federal register notice details the program and its requirements for toll collection on highways, including new and existing interstate lanes, to relieve congestion and finance road improvements. The program will authorize up to 15 projects.
"Thanks to the efforts of congress and the Administration, states now have more options than ever before to use non-traditional approaches to relieve congestion and generate investment resources," Federal Highway Administrator J. Richard Capka said.
Capka noted, for example, that states can use demand pricing to raise and lower tolls according to traffic levels as a way to keep cars flowing. The program requires electronic tolling so traffic does not slow down while drivers pay the toll. It is one of six tolling programs that the agency offers to states.