I-80 Tolling Application Denied
Many transportation advocates were shocked today by the news that the Federal Highway Commission rejected Pennsylvania’s application to toll Interstate 80 . During his press conference, Governor Rendell stated that he was deeply disappointed with the decision, as it means that the future of transportation funding is in jeopardy. According to sources at the Patriot News:
The application will be rejected because it would violate language in a federal transportation law that would require money from I-80 tolls to be used only for that roadway.
Without the anticipated revenue from I-80 tolling, Act 44 – PA’s transportation law – is on its way to having a $450 million funding gap. Though new capital projects will be the first items on the chopping block, basic public transit operations will also be significantly affected.
It’s not yet clear what the next step is for the state administration and what this means for the upcoming budget season. With the gubernatorial election this year, this matter is bound to become a campaign issue – and, hopefully, a priority for voters.
What is your reaction to the FHWA’s decision? And how can the massive gap be filled?