Preliminary Tolling and Pricing Questions & Answers
Question 1: What happens to the Express Lanes Demonstration Program (Section 1604(b) of SAFETEA-LU) under MAP-21?
Answer 1: FHWA's ability to grant tolling authority under the Express Lanes Demonstration Program expires on September 30, 2012. However, the authority to toll new lanes on Interstates has been mainstreamed as an eligible activity under 23 U.S.C. 129 through MAP-21 § 1512 so long as the facility has the same number of toll-free lanes after construction as it did before (excluding HOV lanes and auxiliary lanes).
Question 2: What happens to the Interstate System Construction Toll Pilot Program under MAP-21?
Answer 2: The Interstate System Construction Toll Pilot Program expires on August 9, 2015, per section 1604(c)(8) of SAFETEA-LU. However, the authority to toll for the construction of new Interstates has now been mainstreamed in Section 129. (MAP-21 § 1512) Because Section 129 allows a State to accomplish the same result with less administrative burden, there is no longer any need for States to seek tolling authority under this program.
Question 3: What happens to the Interstate System Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Pilot Program (ISRRPP) (Section 1216(b) of TEA-21) under MAP-21?
Answer 3: MAP-21 does not make any changes to the Interstate System Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Pilot Program, so it will continue to be available.
Question 4: What happens to the Value Pricing Pilot Program (VPPP) under MAP-21 (Section 1012(b) of ISTEA)?
Answer 4: MAP-21 does not make any changes to this program. As a result, FHWA's ability to enter into cooperative agreements for projects that require tolling authority under this program for their implementation will continue. However, no additional funds are authorized after Fiscal Year 2012 for the discretionary grant component of this program.
Question 5: May HOV lanes be converted to HOT lanes under MAP-21?
Answer 5: Yes. Tolling authority for converting high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes to high occupancy toll (HOT) lanes remains available under the Section 166 HOV lanes program.
Question 6: Are tolling agreements still required under MAP-21?
Answer 6: Under MAP-21, tolling agreements are no longer required for the two mainstream tolling programs (Section 129 and Section 166). However, tolling agreements will continue to be required under the ISRRPP and VPPP.
Question 7: Have any tolling authorities been mainstreamed under MAP-21?
Answer 7: Yes. Tolling for the construction of new Interstate highways and the tolling of new lanes added to Interstate highways are now eligible under 23 U.S.C. 129. Prior to Section 1512 of MAP-21, these eligibilities were only available through pilot programs with limited participation.
Question 8: Are there any new requirements associated with tolling authority under MAP-21?
Answer 8: MAP-21 adds a new statutory requirement under 23 U.S.C. 129 and 166 for annual audits to verify adequate maintenance and compliance with the limitations on the use of revenues. If such audits reveal that an agency is not in compliance with these restrictions, MAP-21 also specifies that the Secretary of Transportation may order that toll collection be discontinued until an agreement to achieve compliance is reached.
Question 9: Can toll revenues be used to fund transit investments?
Answer 9: Yes. If the public authority certifies to the FHWA annually that the tolled facility is being adequately maintained, the public authority may use toll revenues for any purpose for which Federal funds may be obligated by a State under title 23, United State Code. (Section 1512 of MAP-21; 23 U.S.C. 129(a)(3)(A)(iv)).
Question 10: Will there be further guidance regarding tolling and pricing?
Answer 10: Yes, further guidance is forthcoming.