Strange, but true:
North Carolina hopes to win permission this spring from the Federal Highway Administration to pay for the work on I-95 by collecting tolls from drivers who use it. Tolling and construction details are expected to change before the final plan is approved later this year. If federal permission for toll collection is denied, DOT planners would have to scrap their proposal. [...]
Car and truck owners who buy N.C. Quick Pass transponders would pay the lowest toll rate. E-ZPass and Sun Pass transponders used on toll roads in other states also would work on I-95.
For vehicles without transponders, cameras would record the license numbers, and the owners would be billed by mail, at a higher toll rate.
Current plans call for toll collection to start on the full 182 miles of I-95 in 2019 - after the eight-lane widening is finished on 60 miles and before the six-lane widening starts on the remaining 122 miles.
Drivers on the eight-lane section would pay a rate expected in 2019 to be around 19.2 cents a mile. Drivers on the rest of I-95, with improvements scheduled farther in the future, would pay about 6.4 cents a mile.
That means a trip from North Carolina to Virginia would cost $19.20 for a two-axle vehicle. Larger trucks would pay higher rates.
Reasons to deny the request:
- A toll is a tax -- taxes are bad, Q.E.D.
- A whiff of big brother -- you're taking pics of my license plate?
- Equity -- a toll is regressive, people who drive highways can't afford to fly, the rich should pay
Reasons to approve it:
- A user fee is the most efficient way to finance a public project
Three reasons vs only one! Denied.
Update (1:48 pm]: Some clarifications in the comments.