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America's Failing Toll Highways

Updated on March 21, 2016

Across the USA, there are toll roads and then are real toll roads. Normal toll roads are simply highways that one must pay to use. Back in older days, these same roads were free until their maintenance costs began to become excessive. The new toll roads, like the one from Austin to San Antonio, Texas, is a publicly and private financed highway. It is part of Hwy 130 and after only four years of being built, the private firm filed for bankruptcy due to dropping use and revenue fees. This is not the only toll road where disuse has caused the same thing: toll roads near San Diego, Alabama, and North Carolina, which are partially owned by private firms have gone bankrupt.

The problem are the fees to drivers. A car taking the trip from Austin to San Antonio could cost almost $10. Would you be willing to pay this to avoid traffic congestion? If you are a trucker with an 18-wheeler rig, the cost is $34! What determines the rate is the size of the car and whether there is a trailer. Still, affordability is the key problem and reason why these new toll roads are failing.

Another part of the problem is that some toll roads are a private and public venture. The public side of things, the revenue to build toll roads is from taxes that can be raised or taking revenue from other departments.

Toll roads may allow you to go 85 mph and little traffic, but the public seems to be saying they are willing to grin and bear the traffic congestion and delay instead of paying more than $5 toll. Many toll roads are now empty or well below expectations. You would think the private company that manages the road would come to the conclusion that more cars at $5 toll is much better than a few paying $10. But, not so far, these private companies prefer to file bankruptcy. That is not solving the problem but reducing the toll costs is.

How much are you willing to pay to use a toll road?

How much are you willing to pay to use a toll highway?

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    • Chatty Chat profile image

      Cindy 17 months ago from Planet Earth

      I definitely agree with this hub.