Coalition formed to fight highway privatization

Feb. 12, 2007
Six transportation associations are joining forces to create a highway user group aimed at combating the leasing of existing toll facilities to private investors

The American Trucking Assns. (ATA), the American Automobile Assn., the American Highway Users Alliance, NATSO (National Association of Truck Stop Operators), the Recreation Vehicle Industry Assn, and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Assn. are joining forces to create a highway user group aimed at combating the leasing of existing toll facilities to private investors.

The new group – dubbed “Americans for a Strong National Highway Network” – wants to maintain what it calls a “robust” national network of safe, reliable public roads for private travel, freight, and military needs while holding governments accountable for highway funding that is transparent and dedicated solely for transportation purposes.

“The sale or lease of existing toll facilities generates revenue at great expense to taxpayers and the trucking industry and carries potential negative impacts on highway safety, security and the motoring public,” said Gov. Bill Graves, ATA’s president & CEO.

“We must consider the long-term impact privatization will have on our nation’s transportation system and explore all available financing options to ensure that the government is motivated by public good and transportation purposes,” he added.

Graves noted that ATA strongly opposes the lease or sale of existing toll roads, bridges or tunnels to private parties. He added that the trucking group has called upon governments to abandon these financing techniques.

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