Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 20, 2014

Posts in "Toll Roads"

September 17, 2014

Bipartisan House Report Sees Growing Role for Private Money in Infrastructure Deals

1duncan022702 258x335 Bipartisan House Report Sees Growing Role for Private Money in Infrastructure Deals

Rep. John J. Duncan, Jr., headed a special House panel on public-private partnerships.

There was bipartisan House agreement Wednesday that public-private investment partnerships, which combine state and federal grant money and bonds with Wall Street equity and debt financing, should be an important part of paying for new transportation infrastructure.

But there was partisan disagreement among members of a special P3 panel of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on how large a percentage of infrastructure funding will come from the P3.

Full story

September 9, 2014

DOT Makes $950M Loan To Help Expand I-4 in Florida

4913387651 445x308 DOT Makes $950M Loan To Help Expand I 4 in Florida

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx at a press conference last May (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said Tuesday that the Obama administration is making a $950 million loan to help rebuild and widen 21 miles of Interstate 4 in the Orlando, Fla., area.

My CQ Roll Call colleague John Boyd has the details here.

Full story

September 8, 2014

The Case Against Tolling Interstate Lanes

4701597351 445x297 The Case Against Tolling Interstate Lanes

Traffic moves along Interstate 80 in California (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The Alliance for Toll-Free Interstates is a coalition of state trucking associations and companies including FedEx and UPS that is trying to stop tolls from being imposed on currently toll-free parts of the interstate highway system.

Alliance spokesman Julian Walker gave us the group’s views.

Full story

With Transportation Investment Summit Set to Meet, Here’s the Case for Tolling

152366339 445x303 With Transportation Investment Summit Set to Meet, Here’s the Case for Tolling

Toll lane cameras at the Golden Gate Bridge toll plaza. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

On Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx convene an infrastructure investment summit with private-sector investors.

One topic of discussion is likely to be the use of tolls to help pay for bond issues and as part of private equity deals to build bridges, highways, and tunnels.

Here’s a case for tolling, from our interview with Patrick D. Jones, executive director and CEO of the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association. Later today, we’ll run an opposing view. Full story

September 5, 2014

Export-Import Bank, Rail Congestion, and Pilot Drug Use on Week’s Agenda

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House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., speaks at a 2012 press conference. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Members of Congress return to the Capitol this week but will sprint through the next three weeks of legislative maneuvering before they head home for the 2014 campaign finale.

Two transportation-related issues await action: a stopgap funding bill to keep agencies running past the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30, and a decision on what to do about the expiring charter of the Export-Import Bank, which subsidizes foreigners’ purchases of U.S. goods such as Boeing aircraft. Full story

August 21, 2014

As North Carolina Prepares for New Tolls, Opponent Decries ‘Caste System’

Tolling may soon become a routine method of paying for new highway construction even in traditional non-toll states, and drivers may just have to get used to it.

But some drivers are waging a battle to prevent tolling on a congested 26-mile stretch of Interstate 77 in North Carolina.

Full story

August 6, 2014

Missouri Voters Reject Tax Increase to Pay for Transportation Projects

Missouri voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly rejected an increase in the state’s sales tax to pay for highways, roads, and bridges.

The proposed amendment to the state constitution was defeated 59 percent to 41 percent – even though it included elements designed to make it more palatable to voters: it would have explicitly banned tolling on state highways and would have prevented an increase in the state’s tax on gasoline and other motor fuels.

The constitutional amendment would have been a three-quarters of one percent increase to the state’s 4.225 percent sales tax.

Full story

July 30, 2014

In Fight for Urban Street and Curbside Space, Can Pricing Create Peace?

175796612 445x292 In Fight for Urban Street and Curbside Space, Can Pricing Create Peace?

People order food from the BBQ Bus food truck during lunch at Farragut Square in Washington, D.C., in August 2013. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

A thriving city with new restaurants and other businesses has a healthy surge of revenue, but there’s one constraint the transportation manager or mayor can do little about: space on the roads and at curbsides.

“Our biggest challenge would certainly be use of right of way or space,” said Larry Marcus, the Transportation and Engineering Bureau Chief for Arlington County, Va., at a transportation data panel this week sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

Full story

July 28, 2014

RideScout CEO Sees a ‘Right-Pricing’ Transportation Revolution

At Monday’s U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation panel discussion on using data to expedite transportation, RideScout co-founder and CEO Joseph Kopser played the role of visionary and crusader.

His company has an app allowing travelers in more than 60 cities in the United States and Canada to figure out the quickest way of getting from one point to another, whether’s it’s a taxi, a bus, or their own car.

Full story

July 18, 2014

For ‘P3s,’ Still Some Confusion About What’s Public And What’s Private

President Barack Obama tried to focus attention this week on public-private partnerships to build infrastructure. Despite the existence of well-established “P3″ projects — concentrated in Texas, Florida, Virginia, California, and Colorado — the public is still sometimes confused about what’s public and what’s private.

Full story

July 17, 2014

For Infrastructure Funding, Tolls Remain a Steep Challenge in Some Places

Federal law prohibits most interstate highway tolling. Lifting that ban is not likely to happen soon, even though toll revenue would help states pay for some infrastructure projects.

States are turning to public-private partnerships, or P3s, to finance projects. But with P3s in some parts of the country, there’s a potential obstacle: public dislike of tolls.

Full story

As Investors, Officials Meet, a Warning Note on Public-Private Deals

Even as President Barack Obama was headed to Delaware on Thursday to promote public-private partnerships to finance infrastructure, Peter Ruane, president of the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, was telling a conference of officials and investors who put together such deals that there’s growing resistance in Congress to the “P3s” trend.

Full story

July 15, 2014

Big Money Riding on Question of Whether Decline in Vehicle Use Will Continue

452184694 web 445x289 Big Money Riding on Question of Whether Decline in Vehicle Use Will Continue

President Barack Obama drives a simulator of a high-tech car as he tours the Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center in McLean, Va., today.

Vehicle miles traveled per licensed driver peaked in the United States in 2007.

Since then, there has been a 0.5 percent annual decrease in vehicle miles traveled (VMT) per licensed driver, according to Trisha Hutchins of the Energy Information Administration.

A lot is riding on the question of whether the trend will continue in the decades ahead.

Full story

July 8, 2014

Tollbooth Scofflaws Have Become Multimillion-Dollar Headaches

490534117 web 445x296 Tollbooth Scofflaws Have Become Multimillion Dollar Headaches

President Barack Obama speaks at the Tappan Zee Bridge in May. (Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images)

Human toll collectors are becoming a vanishing breed as states and highway authorities increasingly move to all-electronic tolling, or AET. But the new technology comes with its own costs.

Full story

June 23, 2014

Big-Money Optimism but Many Unanswered Questions About Private Infrastructure Investment

Senate Finance Chairman Sen. Ron Wyden spoke for many transportation officials when he said recently, “There are hundreds of billions of dollars in private capital sitting on the American sidelines. Surely some of that can be invested in American infrastructure.”

Probably no topic is hotter right now in the public infrastructure world than private-public partnerships, which aim to entice the owners of those hundreds of billions of dollars of private capital to invest in rebuilding and expanding the nation’s highways, ports and bridges.

Full story

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