English offers new remedy to tolling of I-80

Congressman Phil English is proposing to ban tolls on all existing federal freeways, similar to a proposal introduced by Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison.

We don’t think that is necessary – so long as new tolls are A) used only for the road being tolled, not to subsidize other roads (or mass transit) and B) federal gas tax monies are no longer provided for the toll road in question (so taxpayers don’t pay for the road twice).

Of course, these limits are already in place under the IRRPP program. Ironically, that is the program the Turnpike Commission applied for to toll I-80, even though the above restrictions completely undermine their scheme.

We also think that any tolling should be put up for competitive bidding to ensure the best deal at the lowest cost to motorists, rather than handed over to the Turnpike Commission without even so much as a hearing. What is there to lose from taking competitive bids? Oh right – Vince Fumo’s plunder.