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Toll Facilities in the United States

Toll Facilities in the United States

2/1/2013

By Simon Workman and Jaime Rall

As the purchasing power of fuel taxes—the primary source of transportation funding in the United States—continues to decline, more states are increasing their use of the nation’s earliest way to fund transportation improvements: tolling.

In the late 1700s, many roads were operated by private turnpike companies, though interest in tolling subsequently declined with the introduction of public roads and fuel taxes.  In recent years, concerns about funding shortfalls for highway improvements, the potential of electronic toll collection, and increasing interest in public-private partnerships have led states to reconsider tolling.  According to the Federal Highway Administration, “These forces appear to suggest that both public and private toll roads may be additional means of financing and constructing U.S. highway facilities in the near future.”

Most states have enacted toll authorizing legislation, and tolling is a growing source of revenue in more than 30 states. The maps below document toll facilities in operation in the United States as of March 2012.

Also see Comparison of Toll Rates by State and Regional Tolling Authorities, an NCSL resource from February 2013 that lists toll rates on state and regional toll facilities across the nation.

For further information about toll facilities and high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes, including details of authorizing state statutes, please contact Jaime Rall in the NCSL Transportation Program. 

  

Map 1: Toll Facilities in the United States

This 50-state map illustrates toll facilities currently in operation in the United States. The map includes road, bridge and tunnel toll facilities and facilities are categorized by their operating entity–encompassing statewide entities, such as a state Department of Transportation or Tollway Authority; regional entities, such as a regional transportation authority; and private entities, such as privately owned organizations.

As shown, a total of 42 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have some form of tolling authorization or facility. Of those:

  • 28 states and Puerto Rico have toll facilities operated by statewide entities.
  • 14 states have toll facilities operated by regional entities.
  • 20 states and Puerto Rico have privately operated toll facilities.
  • 9 states and the District of Columbia authorize tolling but have no state or regional toll facilities at this time.

50 state map of toll facilities in the United States

Notes:

Arkansas: State statute grants the authority to toll to regional mobility authorities.

Only bridge tolls are authorized in statute.

Only bridge tolls are authorized in statute.

Statute authorizes toll facilities only if approved by voters.

New Mexico: Only bridge and wagon road tolls are authorized in statute.

Map 2: High-Occupancy Toll (HOT) Lanes in the United States

In recent years a number of states have also developed high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes. HOT lanes allow vehicles that do not meet the minimum occupancy requirement for high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes to use these lanes upon payment of a toll. Currently, 10 states operate HOT lanes, as shown in the map below.

 50 state map of high occupancy toll or HOT lane facilities in the United States

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