- Jun 25, 2013
- Reaction score
Those all require federal approval. Federal approval which is IMO unlikely to be granted if a neighboring state has major objections, especially for a proposed toll which can likely be proven to disproportionately affect that state's residents. Said state would probably even have a Commerce Clause claim in federal courts if it did get approved by regulators.The Federal highway apportionment formula was changed in 2012. No longer any issue with applying tolls (under one of the Fed DOT programs). No impact on federal funding.
Fed DOT now allow tolling in four use cases:
General tolling for new construction (Section 129)
HOV Lanes (Section 166)
Rehabilitation programs (which virtually every interstate needs) (ISRRPP)
Value-based Pricing (congestion tolling) (VPPP)
Most of those programs other than VPPP also look to be tough at best to apply to the situation.
I will also point out that Rhode Island just had it's tolls on trucks declared unconstitutional in federal court because (among other reasons) of how heavily they target out of state users/commerce - and the stated rationale of that decision would seemingly add further doubt to the premise that some kind of "border toll" would hold up either.
If you did get permission to implement more general tolling, I would suspect the tolls charged would need to be fairly distributed along the entire corridor, used only on the corridor + aligned to the costs of that portion of the corridor to hold up in court, assuming that decision stands.
In terms of congestion-based, I don't think you'd have any success saying I-93 needs congestion tolling from the NH state line to 495 or 128 only. If you're going to toll it all the way from NH to Canton, maybe. But that won't be the "NH tax" some are envisioning in terms of who/where most of the money comes from.