ATA opposes privatization, leasing of toll facilities
Dec 1, 2006 12:00 PM
The board of directors of the American Trucking Associations voiced strong opposition to the privatization or leasing of existing toll facilities to fund highway infrastructure projects.
The group supports a toll-free national highway system where money to finance highway improvement primarily come from highway user fees such as the fuel tax.
ATA's board of directors established a 10-point policy on privatization for those cases where toll facilities might end up in the hands of the private sector. Recommendations include:
Restricting the use of revenues generated by the sale of the lease to un-tolled highway projects.
Setting toll rates that only cover costs related to the toll facility plus a reasonable return on investment.
Providing adequate facilities for the trucking industry,
Rebating state fuel taxes paid by facility users.
Applying constraints on private operators' ability to impose fees and restrictions on vehicles.
Establishing a “sinking fund” for continued maintenance and operation.
Preventing clauses that restrict improvements to competing roads.
Requiring open road tolling and making the technology compatible with that used on other Interstate toll roads.
Creating performance specifications that ensure operations and maintenance that guarantee safety and provide for acceptable traffic flows.
Any privatization agreement also should create an oversight group with representation from major stakeholders, including the trucking industry.
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