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Tolling Program Administration

Compliance Audits

MAP 21 extends the requirement for regular compliance audits to ensure compliance with the limitations on the use of the use of toll revenues for facilities tolled under the Section 129, Section 166, and the ISRRPP tolling programs. These audits must be conducted annually. If USDOT determines a public toll authority is in noncompliance, the Secretary will require that toll collection be discontinued. FHWA Division Offices are responsible for receiving the annual audits from toll operators and ensuring compliance with the statutory requirements.

These audit requirements will be addressed further in forthcoming guidance to be issued by FHWA.

Tolling Memorandum of Understanding

Although tolling agreements are no longer required under the mainstream tolling programs, State departments of transportation and other public agencies responsible for toll facilities may wish to enter into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with their FHWA Division Offices, particularly in light of the new requirements for audits and the potential consequences of noncompliance (including the discontinuation of toll collection). As shown in this Sample MOU Template, suggested elements of the MOU could include establishing the eligibility for tolling a Federal-aid highway facility under Section 129 and outlining how the statutory requirements regarding the use of toll revenues, audits, and other Federal requirements will be met.

It is recommended that Division Offices consult with the Center for Innovative Finance Support in developing tolling MOUs, in order to ensure that tolling program requirements and eligibilities are clearly understood by all parties.

Implementation Guidance Revisions

FHWA Program Offices with responsibilities for tolling programs and the Office of Chief Counsel are currently revising existing guidance documents on Federal tolling programs to reflect the changes made by MAP-21. Notices will be published in the Federal Register when this new guidance has been finalized.

View Memorandum to FHWA Division Administrators on Guidance for General Tolling Programs.

Project Implementation Assistance

Given the changes made to Federal tolling programs in MAP-21, including the mainstreaming of the ELDP and ISCTPP and the elimination of requirements for toll agreements under Section 129 and Section 166 tolling agreements, there is no longer a need for project sponsors to submit a formal tolling Expression of Interest prior to seeking tolling authority.

In lieu of such a submission, we would suggest that Division Offices with questions on advancing tolling projects in their States first work through Cynthia L. Essenmacher in the Center for Innovative Finance Support, who coordinates the Tolling and Pricing Team at FHWA headquarters. She is available to provide assistance on general or cross-cutting questions on the Federal tolling programs, including:

  • Project Eligibilities
  • Toll Pilot Program Slots
  • Limitations on the Use of Toll Revenues
  • Compliance Audits
  • Tolling MOUs
  • Policy Development

For information on project implementation assistance, please contact:

Cynthia L. Essenmacher
Tolling Program Manager
FHWA Center for Innovative Finance Support
(202) 780-6178

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