U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Considering Tolling Expansion

The Truck Renting and Leasing Association (TRALA) is urging the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee not to expand a federal pilot project that allows states to toll existing interstates. The EPW Committee has jurisdiction over the interstate highway system, and as such the Committee is in the process of drafting highway reauthorization legislation. TRALA has been advised that the legislation very likely could include language that expands the ability to toll existing interstates.

The Alliance for Toll-Free Interstates (ATFI), of which TRALA is a member, points out that, over the past seventeen years, the Interstate Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Pilot Program (ISRRP) has served its purpose and demonstrated the unviability of tolling existing interstates. Six states have pursued tolls via the ISRRP, and all failed primarily due to the widespread public outcry over tolling's negative consequences, which in some cases even triggered legislative action to protect interstates from tolls. Pilot programs are meant to be temporary. Approaching twenty years, the ISRRPP has run its course and should be repealed, not expanded or made more flexible.


TRALA and many other ATFI members have urged EPW Committee members not to expand the tolling pilot project. To detail unique problems with tolling faced by truck renting and leasing companies, TRALA submitted this white paper for the EPW Committee's consideration.


The paper discusses how truck renting and leasing companies are often held financially responsible for toll transactions or violations incurred by their customers. Toll violations incurred by vehicle operators are often enforced by checking the rented or leased vehicle's license plate to find the registered owner, which is the renting and leasing company, who then receives a notice of violation for the toll, plus penalties. In most states, TRALA members have some statutory authority to transfer liability for the violations from themselves to the vehicle operator so the toll operators can invoice the responsible party. However, in many cases, that is generally where the process breaks down. 


Whether it is the lack of a response or action by toll operators upon receipt of transfer of liability paperwork, or the lack of a timely notice to lessors in the first place, TRALA members have generally found the current practices for attempting to absolve themselves from violations incurred by the actual vehicle operators to be inadequate. Expanding the tolling pilot project would only create the potential for the magnitude of these problems to be multiplied.


Individual TRALA members are encouraged to contact EPW Committee members and state their opposition to tolling existing interstates. Click here to send your message to EPW Committee members.

For questions, contact TRALA's Joe Sculley at or by calling (703) 299-9120.