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7 public funds mostly from fuel taxes were available to states makers and decision makers in the public's response to tolling and localities. Funding rules initially restricted collection of and road pricing proposals and projects. tolls on new federally funded roadways, bridges, and tunnels. In some situations, expansion or rebuilding of a toll facility using Interstate Highway Program funding resulted in the PURPOSE AND SCOPE removal of existing tolls. It is important to consider that most Purpose respondents in current opinion polls or surveys grew up trav- eling on these tax-supported highways. The purpose of this synthesis is to provide a comprehen- sive view of public opinions on tolling and road pricing that During most of the twentieth century, the pricing of road have significant value to policy makers and practitioners. space was an ivory-tower idea debated by economists (10). Specifically, it In 1975, Singapore was one of the first large cities to adopt congestion pricing. This experiment attracted much attention Compiles existing data from completed public opinion but limited practical replication until the 1990s. Interest in research; congestion pricing grew significantly, not only in the United Presents an interpretive framework for understanding States but around the world, as communities faced increasing differences in outcomes from various data sources; congestion and limited capacity. Several factors stimulated Analyzes each data source for situational context (e.g., the attention given to road pricing. One was federal support type of project, targeted market, nature of questions and through the Congestion Pricing Pilot Program established in the alternatives presented, the conditions where projects 1991 by ISTEA, and reauthorized in 1998 as the Value Pric- are deemed acceptable and unacceptable, the patterns ing Pilot Program in TEA-21 and SAFETEA-LU in 2005. that led to public support of or opposition to tolling and The FHWA supported state and local efforts to plan, test, and road pricing); evaluate value (or congestion) pricing projects. Another fac- Identifies common themes, trends, and factors that influ- tor was the deployment during the 1990s of technologies for ence public acceptance or rejection of tolling or road electronic toll collection that essentially eliminated motorist pricing projects; delays at toll booths. Documents public opinion on tolling and road pricing in comparison with other potential revenue sources, such At the same time that congestion pricing was rising to the as general taxation; and forefront of transportation policy, states were facing growing Identifies future research needs that address gaps in (or anticipated) revenue shortfalls from fuel taxes and other current understanding of public opinion on tolling and traditional sources of funding surface transportation infra- road pricing. structure. Debt financing (typically tolled highways) emerged as a tool to allow states or other quasi-governmental author- ities to fund new infrastructure projects so they could be deliv- Scope ered faster than pay-as-you-go highway construction. These projects also avoided the higher construction costs that existed The scope of this synthesis report is limited to the compila- with long-term staged construction projects. Early practice in tion of public opinion data on tolling and road pricing. It does debt financing had morphed into a myriad of tools and pro- not address behavioral data, such as impacts on travel pat- grams under the banner of "innovative financing" that were terns, route choice, or mode choice. This synthesis docu- first codified as the National Highway System Designation ments the results of public opinion polls and surveys and pro- Act of 1995. vides the context for the survey results from the information present in the source materials. The analysis provides trends Then, with the passage of SAFETEA-LU in 2005, fed- and themes in public opinion, as well as an interpretation of eral highway law provided states with an increased flexi- the factors that influence public opinion. Given that the pub- bility to use tolling, not only to manage congestion, but to lic response to tolling and road pricing is influenced signifi- finance infrastructure improvements as well. The new tools cantly by the context in which the public opinion is being included private activity bonds for highways and surface measured and that the context of tolling and road pricing is freight transfer facilities, enhanced authority to use tolling changing significantly, this synthesis focuses primarily on to finance construction of Interstate highways, increased flex- reviewing public opinion data since 2000. This more con- ibility in using designbuild contracting, streamlined envi- temporary data will provide more insight and utility to cur- ronmental processes, and improvements to existing innova- rent practitioners, policy makers, and other decision makers tive finance programs, including Transportation Infrastructure facing tolling or pricing issues. Finance and Innovation Act and State Infrastructure Bank programs (11). As states are considering using as well as actu- In documenting public opinion, the study focused on ally applying these new tools to fund needed transportation breadth of information rather than depth of information. It infrastructure projects, the public debate has increased as well. does not document case studies. The information gathering This state of the world has intensified the interest of policy process sought to cast as wide a net as possible to better