The Republican Assembly speaker and Senate majority leader in Wisconsin said they will work together to craft transportation funding legislation, and both are backing tolls as a funding source. The existing state budget faced delays because of disagreements over how to make up for a $1 billion transportation funding shortfall.
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RiverLink, which oversees Ohio River bridges connecting southern Indiana and Kentucky, reported that its number of transponders requested was up 27% last year, while the number of prepaid accounts increased by 29%. Crossings on RiverLink's three tolled bridges in 2018 reached 32.3 million, an increase of 8%, the report states.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez is calling for lawmakers to preserve the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority, of which he is chairman. Gimenez criticized legislation that would end the MDX and put its five expressways under state oversight, saying the bill would hinder the extension of the Florida 836 expressway.
The Florida Department of Transportation is scheduled to begin construction soon on a $230 million extension of the First Coast Expressway between interstates 10 and 95. Completion of the project is expected in 2026.
UK officials are developing a plan that will allow autonomous vehicles to undergo testing without a human backup driver, and the goal is have such testing on public roads by 2021. "Advanced trials will not be supported unless they have passed rigorous safety assessments," the government said.
The Federal Highway Administration is making $705.7 million in relief available for disaster-related infrastructure repairs in 34 states and three territories. The funding will go toward critical repairs made after wildfires, flooding and other disasters.
Ohio Transportation Director Jack Marchbanks said revenue for the state's transportation projects faces an "impending crisis" unless lawmakers can identify additional revenue sources. The state's gas tax has not risen since 2005, and a temporary solution that let the state borrow money against future toll revenue has essentially been exhausted.
The North Texas Tollway Authority says 92% of drivers who lack transponders pay their toll bills. The authority has agreements with Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma to help it find drivers who have not paid tolls.
Rep. Sam Graves, R-Mo., the ranking member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, is optimistic that Congress can put aside partisan differences to craft infrastructure legislation. Congress has historically been able to pass such legislation, and Graves supports a vehicle-miles-traveled tax to fund the effort, as well as a commitment to fix the Highway Trust Fund.
The EU's top court should throw out Austria's challenge to Germany's plan to impose a charge on drivers who use German highways, said Nils Wahl, advocate general at the European Court of Justice. The plan will allow out-of-country drivers to purchase temporary passes, while automatic fees for vehicles registered in Germany will be offset by a tax break.
From March 30 through April 2, IBTTA is headed to Orlando, Fla., for the newly named Annual Technology Summit. Building on years of growing interest and participation, the Technology Summit (most recently known as the AET, Managed Lanes, Interoperability and Technology Summit), will cover an array of new technological applications and business practices that are increasingly being incorporated into tolling operations. Four breakout tracks are planned: Technology, Managed Lanes, Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) and the return of the popular "Tech Talks." This Summit will engage new participants through partnerships with ITS International MaaS Market, the TRB Committee on Managed Lanes and TRB Committee on Congestion Pricing and the Alliance for Toll Interoperability (ATI). The IBTTA Foundation Golf Tournament, technical tours and pre-meeting topic-based roundtables will all take place in advance of the Summit. At the close of the Summit, ATI and TEAMFL will partner to conduct roundtable sessions followed by TEAMFL's business meeting. Of course, there will be plenty of opportunities for networking with a large exhibit hall and evening events.
Conflicts may be the sources of defeat, lost life and a limitation of our potentiality but they may also lead to greater depth of living and the birth of more far-reaching unities, which flourish in the tensions that engender them.