The American Trucking Assns. (ATA) and Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Assn. (OOIDA) are united in their opposition to the privatization of highway corridors, stating that immediate windfall gains would not offset long term consequences.
“Chief among the concerns is the impact of toll road privatization on toll rates,” said Gov. Bill Graves, president & CEO of ATA in a prepared statement. “Demand elasticity, the art and science of determining how high rates can increase before a significant number of users will abandon the toll road, is the private operator’s chief method for deciding appropriate toll rates. Private toll road operators need not be concerned about the social impacts of toll rates on low-income workers, or on the costs to businesses that depend on the highway for transporting employees, customers, goods or services.”
Todd Spencer, executive vp of OOIDA said that private companies are able to raise toll rates annually along privately owned corridors, which could prompt motorists to take alternate routes not designed for high volumes.
“Our interstates and highways were built to provide citizens the ability to move about freely and to distribute freight efficiently,” said Spencer. “Not to become cash cows for solving funding problems.”