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Toll Roads

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NEWS
June 26, 2007 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
Public skepticism about selling or leasing toll roads is forcing states such as Pennsylvania and New Jersey to consider other ways of wringing money from their turnpikes. In New Jersey, Gov. Corzine is preparing a proposal for a "public benefit corporation" to tap the value of toll roads without turning them over to private companies. In Pennsylvania, legislators are resisting Gov. Rendell's call for a turnpike lease by offering plans for the state to extract money from the turnpike itself.
NEWS
April 9, 1986 | By Joyce Gemperlein, Inquirer Washington Bureau
Americans would rather pay tolls than put up with potholes, narrow roads and inconvenient routes, according to a nationwide survey financed by a private group lobbying to change a 75-year-old law banning tolls on interstate highways. But a spokesman for the American Automobile Association said his group's surveys show the opposite. Congress soon will consider 11 bills to end the ban, which prohibits collection of tolls on roads built with public funds. The survey released yesterday was conducted by the Roper Organization for the Transportation Infrastructure Advisory Group.
NEWS
February 27, 2007
It's good advice for people driving on turnpikes, and it's also sound counsel for people thinking about leasing out turnpikes: Slow down. In busy, challenging budget seasons, the governors of Pennsylvania and New Jersey seem to be moving a little bit too fast for conditions with their talk of leasing out the two state turnpikes (as well as the Garden State Parkway). Trenton lawmakers said as much yesterday, with Assembly debate on throwing up a barrier to Gov. Corzine's study of a toll-road lease.
NEWS
October 1, 1990 | By NEAL PEIRCE
There may be a private toll road in your future. For $1, $2 or maybe $3 one way each day, you will supposedly avoid suburban gridlock and get a clear lane to work. And Ralph Stanley is the guy who'd like to "sell" it to you. Personable, brash and bright, still in his 30s, Stanley served as urban mass transit administrator in the Reagan administration. He now itches to be the first entrepreneur to score big with a modern-day private toll road. Stanley won a green light from the state legislature to build Virginia's first private toll road since 1816.
NEWS
March 4, 2011 | By Peter Mucha, Inquirer Staff Writer
Once a week gas prices can change on New Jersey's two biggest toll roads, and change they did this morning. Dramatically. The price of regular rose 17 cents to $3.259, with premium up to 3.489, at the Sunocos that operate on the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway. The spikes, based on state averages, are dramatic evidence of how fast fuel prices have been rising. They also mean that anyone who gassed up on the toll roads in recent days were getting a bargain as prices elsewhere were already inching up. Two weeks ago, an average gallon of regular cost about $3 in New Jersey, according to newjerseygasprices.
NEWS
June 28, 2007 | By Cynthia Burton INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Hoping to head off a volatile campaign issue, Democrats from Mount Laurel to Atlantic City yesterday said they opposed selling toll roads to private entities. The pileup of public declarations from Democratic incumbents and challengers for legislative offices follows nonstop Republican criticism of an amendment in the state budget allowing the Corzine administration to fund studies aimed at selling state assets, which could include toll roads and the lottery. That amendment and the mostly party-line vote on the budget, which Corzine plans to sign today, have put Democrats in a tough spot on an issue that is increasingly unpopular.
NEWS
September 18, 2011 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
Struggling to pay for roads, bridges, and transit, Pennsylvania and New Jersey increasingly are tapping their turnpike drivers. Rather than rely on traditional sources such as higher gas taxes or motor-vehicle fees, both states are raising tolls to provide hundreds of millions of dollars to non-toll-road projects. Some transportation and environmental organizations have cried foul, arguing that the burden for statewide transportation costs should not rest so heavily on the users of just one or two arteries.
NEWS
April 5, 2006 | By Jennifer Moroz INQUIRER TRENTON BUREAU
When he was governor, Senate President Richard J. Codey toyed with the idea, then relegated it to the back burner. And Gov. Corzine says he wants to keep it there - at least for now. But that hasn't stopped legislators from pitching proposals to sell, lease or otherwise leverage New Jersey's toll roads for quick cash. The prospect of a windfall worth billions, it seems, is just too tempting to ignore in a state always scrambling for money. Last month, State Sen. Raymond Lesniak (D., Union)
NEWS
February 25, 2007 | By Paul Nussbaum INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
What is a turnpike worth? The answer to that billion-dollar question is critical in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, where venerable state-owned toll roads now are being viewed less as ribbons of commerce than as streams of revenue. Political leaders in both states are considering leasing the toll roads to private operators. What the states receive is clear: lots of cash. What they lose is the subject of intense debate. Estimates of the roads' value vary wildly - from $2 billion to $30 billion for the Pennsylvania Turnpike and from $12 billion to $38 billion or more for the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway.
NEWS
January 25, 2005 | By Jennifer Moroz INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Looking to other governments that have benefited from similar deals, acting Gov. Richard J. Codey is considering selling or leasing the New Jersey Turnpike and the state's other two main toll roads to help fill a multibillion-dollar budget hole. Experts on such deals say the state could make more than $10 billion on the turnpike alone by selling the toll-collection rights to a private operator. But how such a deal would be structured and how it would affect operations and toll payers is unclear.
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BUSINESS
September 29, 2014 | By Reid Kanaley, Inquirer Columnist
Smartphones are expensive to own, but the powerful, often free, apps they carry around can make up for some of that expense. These sites offer guides to useful money-saving apps. Budgeting apps are first-off. Everything Zoomer, a site that says it's for the "45-plus demographic," recently posted this list of recommended personal-finance apps. It notes that most banks and other financial institutions now provide apps for tracking your accounts, finding ATMs, and so forth. Many save you a trip to the bank by allowing deposits by snapping photos of checks.
BUSINESS
August 14, 2014 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
Construction is to start late next month or in early October on the long-awaited direct connection between Interstate 95 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike, after the award of a $142.9 million contract to a Bucks County firm. PKF-Mark III Inc., of Newtown, won the contract from the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission to build the first section of the $420 million Stage 1 of the new interchange that will finally provide an unbroken I-95 between Maine and Florida. For decades, I-95 has been incomplete in New Jersey near Trenton.
NEWS
February 23, 2014
Risky travel mix in bad weather The tractor-trailer versus passenger-car safety debate along the Pennsylvania Turnpike was settled the other week in Bensalem ("Massive pileups strangle turnpike," Feb. 15). In the Valentine's Day crash, there were numerous injuries and dozens of vehicles were damaged, many total write-offs. The eastbound lanes were closed for hours, with untold losses of toll revenue. Since several tractor-trailers jackknifed across the icy highway in the pileup, consider the economics for car owners: Their tolls are far larger in total than those paid by tractor-trailer drivers, and part of the toll price should be a safe ride.
NEWS
December 5, 2013
Perhaps it would take a naïf to expect Pennsylvania's legislators to pass a transportation bill just because it's, you know, their job. And there aren't many innocents left in Harrisburg. So to get the bill passed, the legislature revived its reviled tradition of allowing its members to distribute some of the spoils, a practice previously known by the charming term "walking-around money. " Tens of millions of dollars a year was apparently the price the rest of us paid to persuade some of our already well-compensated representatives to fund work on roads, bridges, and mass-transit systems - that is, to keep "walking around" from becoming the commonwealth's last safe mode of transportation.
NEWS
April 25, 2013
By Bernard L. Weinstein America's highways and bridges are in desperate need of repair. According to the National Transportation Research Group, 33 percent of the nation's major roads are in poor or mediocre condition, and 26 percent of bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. The estimated cost of bringing this infrastructure up to standards exceeds $3 trillion. At the same time, revenues from the federal gasoline tax - currently 18.4 cents per gallon and the primary federal source of highway funding - have been declining as miles driven have plateaued while cars and light trucks have become more fuel-efficient.
NEWS
March 21, 2012 | Freelance
The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission released a report last week on the feasibility of an all-electronic tolling system. I'd like to elaborate on what this change would and would not mean. A preliminary analysis projected that turnpike tolls for drivers who don't use E-ZPass may have to be set as much as 50 percent higher than the prevailing cash rates if the conversion to an all-electronic system proceeds. It must be emphasized, however, that this is only an early estimate, and that it will take at least five years to convert to all-electronic tolling.
NEWS
March 21, 2012 | By Christopher Martin, BLOOMBERG NEWS
NEW YORK - U.S. solar developers are luring cash at record rates from investors ranging from Warren Buffett to Google and KKR by offering returns on projects four times those available for Treasury securities. Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc., together with the biggest Internet search company, private equity companies, and insurers MetLife Inc. and John Hancock Life Insurance Co., poured more than $500 million into renewable energy in the last year. That's the most ever for companies outside the club of banks and specialist lenders that traditionally back solar energy, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance data.
NEWS
November 29, 2011 | By Terrence Dopp, BLOOMBERG
New Jersey Turnpike revenue for the year through October was $47.1 million below forecasts, Bloomberg News reported. It said the turnpike authority collected $934 million in the first 10 months of 2011. Officials said, according to Bloomberg, that bad weather and high gasoline prices contributed to reduced use of toll roads by motorists.    - Inquirer staff
NEWS
September 18, 2011 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
Struggling to pay for roads, bridges, and transit, Pennsylvania and New Jersey increasingly are tapping their turnpike drivers. Rather than rely on traditional sources such as higher gas taxes or motor-vehicle fees, both states are raising tolls to provide hundreds of millions of dollars to non-toll-road projects. Some transportation and environmental organizations have cried foul, arguing that the burden for statewide transportation costs should not rest so heavily on the users of just one or two arteries.
NEWS
July 6, 2011
The dizzying variation in toll charges levied on motorists whose cars all seem to carry the same E-ZPass transponder is becoming more than an annoyance. It's evolving into a significant consumer-fairness issue that is getting worse as some of the 24 agencies that issue E-ZPasses alter their pricing schemes to favor the motorists with their devices. It's simply unfair when cars entering the same E-ZPass lanes on the New Jersey Turnpike or to cross the Delaware Memorial Bridge are charged different fees.
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