4/29/2008

US Senators Propose Alternatives to Tolls

US Senators propose using special bonds to raise money for transportation infrastructure projects, reports theNewspaper.com:

"Senators John Thune (R-South Dakota) and Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) last week sought to gather support from US Department of Transportation officials for the Build America Bonds Act. The legislation would allow states to fund various types of infrastructure project through the issuance of thirty-year bonds."

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

The bill allows the bonds to be used to, "stimulate public and private investment in transportation infrastructure."

Bad, Bad, Bad!

Anonymous said...

It will be interesting to see how Sec. Peters and others respond to this proposition. To me, it makes a helluva lot more sense than turning over the keys to private investors. The good thing (hopefully) is that there would be a greater degree of transparency and debate on funding as there would be competing interests from various states to have projects approved. In this way, if a road in Georgia has greater need than one cutting through the middle of nowhere in East Texas then maybe some good could come from it.

Anonymous said...

private investment in rail is a good thing. Bombardier knows how to build trains and in order to attract riders, they'd have to make the train efficient and pretty. They'd compete with driving and if enough carrots were on board to attract riders (wireless internet, good food, reliable schedule, on-train online shopping, a bicycle car) then they'd rightfully profit and benefit us all. Win-win. The government is too dumb to come up with all of the carrots. Private investment in roads is not about carrots. It's always about sticks- sabotaging the competition so the toll operator doesn't have to work as hard and can charge higher tolls. Congestion pricing only applies to roads (so far) not trains and there's an incentive to screw up existing roads to force people on the toll roads. Trains are different. Well, of course all of the same crap could be used to force people to ride trains- noncompetes- no more roads built near the train, but it would be more fair. I don't see the train operator making every rider have a wallet-based EZ pass and unannounced mystery toll prices that go up and down based on traffic flow on I35. Although this might speed boarding. And the more people that take the train, the less people drive and we all win.

Anonymous said...

When I read the complete article, my impression of its last sentences infers that the bonds may be used to build tolls lieu the article title "... alternatives to tolls" !

Sal Costello Sal@TexasTollParty.com said...

The author tells me this:

"Yup -- that's why I mentioned it in the story. Better that people know what's going on.

Bet you anything most of the senators cosponsoring that bill have no idea it has the trojan tolling backdoor. The 2003/2005 versions are toll-free as far as I can tell."

Anonymous said...

We don't need self-serving tolling privatization absconding with taxpayers' funds under the guise of federal bonds, ultimately committing white collar highway robbery of most Americans by collaborating special interests. The Perry consortium TTC disease appears to be spreading insidiously about.