EZ-Pass Or EZ-Cash? Why Toll Roads Are A Bad Idea

By National Motorists Association President, James Baxter

Electronic transponder technology, like E-ZPass, is making toll roads more palatable, but that doesn’t mean toll roads are good public policy.

Toll roads are an inefficient, backwards approach to providing public highways. Worse, they foster corruption, political patronage, and discourage needed improvements on the rest of the highway system.

Don’t be fooled by the references to “free-market principles,” “proper pricing,” “supply and demand,” and “economic incentives” from those selling the for-profit roadways. The truth is, any resemblance to free-market principles is more illusion than fact.

A real market-based system has willing sellers, willing buyers, and reasonably unfettered competition. Any highway of consequence falls flat from the get-go, when it comes to market principles.

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