Could tolling be the future of MI roads?

On this week’s episode of Talking Michigan Transportation, Jeff talks with MDOT senior policy analyst Aarne Frobom about legislation voted out of a Michigan Senate committee to require a study of tolling some Michigan routes.

Read the Senate Fiscal analysis of the bill.

Frobom observes that in Michigan, we now pay a toll equivalent of 2.7 cents per mile we drive in fuel taxes and vehicle registration fees, and that would need to be twice as much to maintain our current system of roads and bridges.

From the Reason Foundation, the case for tolling

An excerpt: Tolling opponents misrepresent this approach as “erecting toll booths on the Interstate.” That is wrong for two reasons. First, it implies simply charging more to use the same worn-out, inadequate lanes (which is illegal under the terms of the Pilot Program). Second, it calls to mind obsolete 20th-century toll booths, when what innovative states are proposing is 21st-century all-electronic tolling, with all tolling being done either via transponders (like E-ZPass in the northeast and Midwest, SunPass in Florida, and FasTrak in California) or via license-plate billing.

And from the Alliance for Toll-Free Interstates, the case against tolling, outlined recently in a statement on efforts in Connecticut:

“We appreciate efforts to resolve the state’s transportation problems and that the Governor has scaled back the use of tolls in his new plan. However, we remain dejected at Governor Lamont’s press for wasteful tolling bureaucracies when there are more common-sense transportation funding methods that do not carry a long list of negative impacts the way tolls do.”

Links to topics discussed

Senate Bill 517

Senate fiscal analysis

Reason Foundation

Alliance for Toll-Free Interstates


Leave a Reply