During the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association’s (IBTTA) Transportation Finance and Mileage-Based User Fee Symposium in Philadelphia this week, elected leaders and industry officials addressed symposium attendees from around the world about the importance of having all transportation infrastructure funding options, including tolling, available to state and local governments. IBTTA is the worldwide association representing toll facility owners, operators and the businesses that serve them.
“As our nation’s transportation and infrastructure system continues to put a strain on federal and state budgets, funding options like mileage-based user fees must be considered,” says Patrick Jones, executive director and CEO of IBTTA. “State and local governments should have the flexibility to fund and finance America’s transportation system in the ways that are most appropriate for them.”
U.S. House of Representatives Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Chairman, Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA), addressed the conference via video, stating, “We need to find some new, innovative ways to fund the Highway Trust Fund.”
IBTTA members also heard from the former U.S. Comptroller General and former head of the Government Accounting Office (GAO), David M. Walker, and the former Governor of Puerto Rico, the Honorable Luis Fortuño.
The Honorable David M. Walker addressed the conference stating: “Tolling is something that has to be on the table. Public-private partnerships are something that has to be on the table. Because the fact of the matter is that we’re facing increasingly constrained resources and yet the needs are increasing.”
Former Governor of Puerto Rico, the Honorable Luis Fortuño called for a similar approach to the country’s race to the top for education: “I would suggest that we have a similar race to the top initiative in infrastructure, to entice states and major cities to invest in infrastructure using tolling.”
IBTTA also released a new video during the conference as part of its national Moving America Forward campaign. The video, designed to help educate the public, policymakers and the media about the critical role tolling plays in meeting our country’s infrastructure funding challenges, features both IBTTA executive director and CEO, Patrick Jones, and IBTTA board president, Rob Horr.