NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


July 1, 2004

Truck-only toll lanes (TOTs) are being considered in 16 states. They would provide a speedier route for truckers and reducing accidents between trucks and cars, but industry leaders are skeptical of the cost, according to USA Today.

Robert Poole of the Reason Foundation originated the idea of (TOTs), and says they would provide a safer and less congested route for both trucks and cars.

  • In 2003 alone, 77 million trucks transported 13.2 billion tons of freight, and transportation experts predict a 31 percent increase in truck freight by 2015; the addition of truck-only toll lanes would ease congestion.
  • Truck-car collisions result in about 5,000 deaths per year -- cars are at fault 75 percent of the time; separate lanes for cars and trucks would reduce collisions and fatalities.

Moreover, TOTs would allow lanes to be added without additional costs to taxpayers. The lanes and pavement would be specifically designed for heavy truck loads as well.

However, industry leaders are concerned about additional "taxes" on their industry. The additional lanes would cost about $2.5 million per mile. Assuming that 8,000 trucks used a road daily, the cost could be recouped with an estimated 13 cents per mile toll; however, Pool says the toll could rise as high as 55-cents per mile.

But in some locations, the toll charge may be worth it for truckers. In Los Angeles, for example, a 55 cents per mile toll charge would save truckers from wasting time and money dealing with the area's freeway congestion.

Source: Debbie Howlett, "Truckers Leery of Toll-Lanes Idea," USA Today, June 27, 2004.

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