In the hunt for transportation money for Pennsylvania's roads, bridges and mass transit, some state lawmakers are ready to put interstate tolling back on the table.
That will be the focus of a hearing today by the Senate Transportation, Majority Policy and Minority Policy committees in King of Prussia.
Senator Ted Erickson, who chairs the G-O-P Policy Committee, says tolling interstates at entrances to the commonwealth is one option...
"Folks in the upper part of the state said why just us? Why not all of the interstates? Let's take a look at all of the interstates. If you look at 95, it's tolled in Delaware, it's tolled then on the other side of Pennsylvania in New Jersey, but not in Pennsylvania."
Earlier this year, the federal government rejected a plan to toll Interstate 80, citing plans to divert the revenue toward other roads and projects across the state.
A representative from U-S Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood's office is expected to attend tomorrow's hearing to discuss the "entrance tolling" plan.
Erickson says this could fill the funding shortfall....."It'll mean huge dollars to the state because we will be able hopefully to use that money to repair those interstates and repair the bridges on those interstates and that will free state money that's currently being expended and allow that money to be used for other roadway and bridge repair as well as for mass transit."
Erickson says using a gas tax increase to fund transportation projects would not be wise in the current economy as it would have a "chilling effect" on businesses and individuals.