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IBTTA Launches Awareness Campaign


January 10, 2013
By Aggregates and Roadbuilding

January 10, 2013, Miami,
Fla. –
On the opening day of its winter Board of Directors
meeting in Miami, Florida, today the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike
Association (IBTTA) announced the
launch of an aggressive 2013 public awareness campaign to highlight the benefits
of tolling.

January 10, 2013, Miami,
Fla. –
On the opening day of its winter Board of Directors
meeting in Miami, Florida, today the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike
Association (IBTTA) – the worldwide association representing toll facility
owners and operators and the businesses that serve them – announced the
launch of an aggressive 2013 public awareness campaign to highlight the benefits
of tolling. The campaign will also focus on advocating publicly in the media
for policymakers’ support of tolling to help solve what U.S. House
Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA)
recently referred to as transportation’s “own version of a fiscal cliff”. 
 

“We’re launching this campaign to ensure that
tolling is a key part of the discussions in Congress and elsewhere around the
country on how to fund America’s transportation system,” said Patrick D. Jones,
IBTTA Executive Director and CEO.  “IBTTA’s Moving America Forward
public awareness campaign will make the case for the tolling industry’s
permanent seat at the table when future transportation funding options are
being considered.”

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As a prelude to this month’s campaign launch, Jones
also sent a letter to Chairman Shuster applauding his comments that tolling is
among the tools in the toolbox to consider as Congress tackles the dwindling
Highway Trust Fund.

IBTTA’s campaign will engage the public,
policymakers, media and other stakeholders through a proactive communications
effort focused on raising awareness of tolling as a reliable and sustainable
source of revenue for transportation infrastructure. In addition to the release
of transportation-related policy documents, this campaign will feature major
events held throughout the year when transportation leaders will come together
in cities worldwide to raise a greater awareness of the benefits of
tolling. Additionally, this effort will focus on aggressively responding
to inaccurate and misleading information about tolling. 

“In the last two decades we have embraced
cutting-edge technologies and business practices that have transformed the
tolling industry into one of the most effective and efficient providers of
mobility in the world,” said 2013 IBTTA President, Rob Horr. “Based on
decades’ worth of real world operations, the tolling industry is a leader in
enhancing public safety, reducing congestion and furthering productivity.”

Generating more than $10 billion in annual revenues
from 5,431 miles of tolled highways, bridges and tunnels, tolling is already a
big part of the solution to the challenge of creating new, dedicated revenue
streams to support our country’s transportation infrastructure needs. Horr
recently penned a blog post on IBTTA’s official blog touting the campaign’s
launch. 

 “It’s about time policymakers at all levels
of government took a serious look at tolling as an effective alternative to
traditional funding options,” said Robert Poole, Director of Transportation
Policy at the Reason Foundation. “As our November study highlights, toll
collection in a mature AET system costs no more than collecting the fuel
tax. And with weak public and political support for raising any tax in
this struggling economy, tolling continues to stand out as the way to go.”

Yesterday, a new study issued by the Reason
Foundation and authored by Poole calls on states to “make much greater use of
tolling and pricing, as both a source of highway revenue and as a powerful
means of reducing traffic congestion.” Additionally the study calls on
Congress to “relax the current ban on tolling Interstates by no longer counting
toll-financed reconstructed lanes as ‘tolling existing capacity.’”

The campaign is supported by IBTTA, its members and
the tolling industry worldwide through significant financial, staffing and
educational resources. In addition to IBTTA’s full-time staff in
Washington, DC, this initiative will be advanced by a team of seasoned
professionals with a hundred years of experience in government affairs, media
and public relations, social media and transportation policy.