DOT backs congestion pricing in Atlanta

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Updated Jan 14, 2010

Carriers that operate under the International Fuel Tax Agreement have until the end of February to display the 2009 IFTA license and decals on all their IFTA vehicles, the IFTA repository announced. During January and February, an IFTA vehicle will be considered legal if it displays 2009 IFTA credentials, an IFTA trip permit or the 2008 IFTA license and decals. For more information, contact the IFTA office at 480-839-4382.

Most Pennsylvania Turnpike tolls increased by 25 percent effective Jan. 4 – a year earlier than anticipated – to fulfill the Turnpike’s obligations under Act 44, which earmarks Turnpike proceeds for transportation projects statewide. The most common rates for commercial vehicles increased from $2 to $2.50, from $2.25 to $2.85, from $3.50 to $4.40, from $6.25 to $7.85, and from $15.25 to $19.10.

Illinois Tollway Board of Directors on Nov. 20 approved a plan to raise tolls on trucks by 60 percent. The toll increase will be phased in 2015-2017; beginning in 2018, tolls for trucks will be tied to the Consumer Price Index.

Toll hikes for the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway went into effect Dec. 1. The toll for the average truck trip on the Turnpike increases by $2.05 this year and $3.75 in 2012, while the toll for the average truck trip on the Parkway increases by 60 cents this year and 95 cents in 2012. The new pricing plan also provides an across-the-board 5 percent off-peak E-ZPass discount to all truck drivers.

GE Capital Solutions Fleet Services announced that it has processed more than $5.7 million in rebates for its customers that lease hybrid or alternative fuel motor vehicles.

The U.S. Department of Transportation said in late November that it would give the state of Georgia $110 million to help reduce traffic congestion in Metropolitan Atlanta. The program is designed to allow more commuters to take advantage of Interstate 85’s HOV lanes northeast of the city, and it also would establish new high-speed commuter bus service into downtown.

The first phase of the project will establish a network consisting of variably-priced high-occupancy toll lanes on I-85, stretching from I-285 to Old Peachtree Road by January 2011. Future phases of Atlanta’s congestion plan will include a 49-mile network of additional HOV-to-HOT lane conversions along I-85, I-75 and I-20. Similar HOT lane projects have been implemented in Minneapolis and Southern California, helping to reduce congestion during peak travel times, DOT says.

Also included in the grant is $30 million for transit service enhancement that will operate on the newly converted expressways. The funding will go toward the purchase of new buses and the construction and expansion of park-and-ride facilities.

According to the Texas Transportation Institute’s 2007 Urban Mobility Report, the Atlanta metro area is tied for the second-highest level of traffic congestion as measured in terms of hours of delay per rush-hour driver. Atlanta is the most recent city to receive federal funding from DOT for efforts to improve mobility and fight increasing congestion in metropolitan areas. For more information, go to

NAFTA freight reached record in 2007
Goods valued at more than $909 billion crossed the U.S. border in trade with Canada and Mexico in 2007, 4.9 percent higher than the previous record set in 2006, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS). Freight weighing nearly 606 million tons was transported through U.S. land borders, airports and seaports to and from locations in Canada and Mexico in 2007. U.S. merchandise trade with its North American Free Trade Agreement partners rose by more than $305 billion or by 50.6 percent between 2002 and 2007. The value of freight shipments moving between the United States, Canada and Mexico grew at an average annual rate of nearly 8.5 percent per year between 2002 and 2007.