Transportation Funding — Where Do We Go?

Update: Change in location for the Governor’s bus tour visit. The new location is now the Tilghman St. bridge in Allentown.

To move the discussion forward on why we need to fully fund our state’s transportation needs, Governor Rendell has planned a state-wide bus tour that will kick off in the Lehigh Valley. The event will be on Tuesday, August 3 at 10AM at the Tilghman St bridge in Allentown [approx. address: 688 N. Brick St.]. Come out to hear the Governor talk about the state’s transportation crisis and what needs to be done.

Related to the funding crisis, StreetsBlog linked to an excellent post on the East Subway Blog last week. The post considered the possibility of halting all transportation funding — both transit and road/highway. (This was meant to point out that halting public transit funding would only be fair if road funding was also stopped.) Local government would be tasked with maintaining local roads and bridges — and many of these governments would likely turn to private companies.

What if all roads in PA were like Colorado’s E-470, which is maintained  by a private company? Here’s how the tolling scenario works out:

As of 2009 the average toll is 31 cents per mile for a two axle vehicle. The toll is higher if it is a tandem axle vehicle.  The road was built and financed through private bonds and cost approx. $ 1.23 Billion dollars or about $25,751,072.96 per mile ($1.2 billion/46.6 miles).

If we take that $.31 per mile and say we drive five miles back and forth (a total of 10) each day to work.  The total per day would be $3.10.  Driving the route 5 times a week would cost us $ 15.50.  Driving 50 weeks out of the year would cost $775.

The blogger points out that taking non-tolled, side roads might be a way around paying this cost — but it wouldn’t be so if ALL of the roads in Pennsylvania were tolled. Now that’s expensive.


About Beata Bujalska

Beata Bujalska is the former Campaign Coordinator for Renew Lehigh Valley. She currently lives in Panama, a place that fascinates her due to (among other reasons) its recent development boom.

Posted on July 28, 2010, in Public Infrastructure, Transportation and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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