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DOT Secretary Appointee Downplays Tolls as Funding Solution

Land Line Magazine – May 22, 2013

The top candidate for President Obama’s U.S. Department of Transportation, Anthony Foxx, says interstate tolls should play a small role in the solution to fund shortfalls facing the Highway Trust Fund. In a round of questioning from a Senate committee Wednesday, May 22, as part of his confirmation process to become DOT secretary, Foxx said tolling should only be used as a means to add new capacity.

Foxx was questioned by the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, led by Chairman Jay Rockefeller, D-WV, and ranking member John Thune, R-SD, about how he planned to run the DOT and solve infrastructure funding challenges.

Foxx told the committee he would use his experience as the current mayor of Charlotte, NC, to deal with the difficult road ahead. He also offered his views on the issues of tolling and a public-private infrastructure bank.

“Tolling, in my work as mayor, has a place,” Foxx told the committee. “But it’s sort of like what I said earlier about an infrastructure bank. We’re not going to toll our way to prosperity in our country. It can be used in some cases to add capacity … but I don’t think it is a complete solution.”

Foxx said his three priorities for transportation are safety, efficiency and building for the future. If the full Senate gives Foxx confirmation, he will take over for Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. The Tom Warne Report