Pennsylvania May Privatize, Add Tolls to Roads

Formed in June 2004, the Committee has finally released its report, “Study of Innovations in the Funding and Delivery of Transportation Infrastructure Using Tolls.” Looking at ways in which other states have increased revenues through tolling, the Committee came to the conclusion that similar ventures could work in Pennsylvania.

“We looked at other states to see how they are using the revenue generated by tolls,” says Representative Rick Geist (Republican-Altoona), who chaired the Committee. “Tolling has been very successful in these states and it could work here in Pennsylvania to enhance transportation corridors by expanding capacity and minimizing congestion.”

Public/Private partnerships, particularly those involving the use of tolls in Florida and Texas, were of great interest to the Committee. John Durbin, principal of Durbin Associates, a consulting firm that helped research the study, notes that, “The objective is to enable private-side dollars to be used as an additional tool to improve Pennsylvania’s transportation infrastructure. With the Commonwealth’s existing needs, and its limited resources, these private/public partnerships can give Pennsylvania the opportunity to expand and enhance its roadways. We’ve seen an infusion of billions of dollars in these other states that have entered into these private/public partnerships.”

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