Take a look at your future, Texas. Do you like what you see?
Texas needs more toll roads, and drivers should pay more to use them, an external audit of the Texas Department of Transportation suggested Wednesday.
Sharply increased highway construction costs and cars that use less gas are two factors among several that mean the traditional means of paying for roads - the 20-cents-per-gallon gasoline tax - is no longer sufficient, the auditors said.
Therefore, more toll roads with higher fees have become the state's best hope for keeping up with demand for new or improved roads, said consultant Peter Mills of Washington state-based Dye Management Group Inc.
"Right now, toll rates are set at the lowest possible level, just enough to capture the costs of the roads themselves," Mr. Mills said. "We believe they should be priced to reflect the value - including the time saved - they bring to the drivers who use them."
Those recommendations and others were revealed Wednesday during a special meeting of the Texas Transportation Commission.
Unfortunately, as long as the Lege lacks the spine to bring the gas tax in line with current pricing reality and revenue needs, we're going to hear more and more of this. If you don't like the sound of this, you might consider letting your Rep and Senator know - I can't see there being much chance of slowing this sort of thing down if there isn't action taken on the gas tax by the next session. And if you do like it, well, party on, Garth. You'll be getting what you want soon enough. Eye on Williamson has more.Posted by Charles Kuffner on July 20, 2007 to Planes, Trains, and Automobiles