The outgoing Malloy administration pushed through a $10 million dollar study on electronic highway tolling which is expected to be completed sometime in the new year. A D.O.T. study last month concluded that placing tolls on all the major highways in Connecticut could raise as much as a billion dollars per year for road and bridge repair and replacement, plus continue to subsidize train and bus service.
With cars and trucks getting better and better mileage, and with the addition of electric cars, it is projected that the current taxes on gasoline will not be enough to keep up with the need.
Davis; Now that you’ve taken a closer look at the transportation funding issue are you certain you can raise enough money just by tolling trucks, and is it just trucks or just out of state trucks?
Lamont; “It’s tractor trailer trucks coming in-and-out of our state. We talked to transportation, D.O.T., it looks like we can raise between $200 and 300 million a year. Almost all those trucks come in from out
of state, by the way, and I can leverage that with (Cong.) John Larson on the Ways and Means Committee. We can get an infrastructure bill out of Congress (and) we can put some real money to work to upgrade our transportation system in this stat and there’s nothing more important for job creation than fixing our transportation system.”
Davis; And what will you do if the trucking industry wins their court challenge to trucks only tolls in Rhode Island?
Lamont; “Well, I talked to Gina Raimondo, the Governor of Rhode Island, the other day and she said she’s highly confident that later this spring there’ll be a decision that says what Rhode Island is doing, which is just tolling on tractor trailer trucks, will pass, so I’m pretty certain we’re able to proceed on that path.”
The strongest opponents of electronic tolling in the State Senate lost their seats in last months election and Democratic Senate Leader Martin Looney of New Haven is reported to be in favor of Lamont’s trucks only idea.