San Antonio, TX, November 1, 2007 – Oil prices have soared to new highs closing at $96 a barrel yesterday, which will not only wreak havoc on the global economy, but also could signal the end to the push for toll roads. According to Vollmer Associates in a toll feasibility study for two tollways in Austin (read about it here), once oil hits the price equivalent to the crisis of 1980, the toll roads studied are no longer financially viable. The Associated Press article says $96 a barrel is on par with the oil crisis of 1980. TOLL ROADS ARE NO LONGER FINANCIALLY DO-ABLE! Not enough motorists will be able to afford to use toll roads with gas prices at or over $3 a gallon with no end in sight.
“We’ve been sounding this alarm for years, and now the reality of ghastly expensive oil is setting in for the long haul. It’s time to pull the plug on toll roads. Motorists are feeling the squeeze at the pump and there won’t be enough extra in the family budget to pay for tolls all over Texas freeways,” notes Terri Hall, Founder/Director of Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom (or TURF).
“Continuing the push for new toll taxes is not only foolish but certain to bring financial disaster to the State and hence the taxpayers who will have to bail out these failed toll roads which will likely bankrupt the next generation. There won’t be enough political cover if politicians allow this to happen,” Hall warns.
“Politicians have tried their best to create a congestion crisis, but the Federal Highway Administration’s statistics show that traffic has not grown since 2005 despite increases in population. Driving stats have been flat since the steady rise in the price of gasoline started in 2005. So once again, taxpayers have been misled, but the jig is up and it’s time for real leadership in order to bring other transportation solutions to the table. Simply continuing down the path of "maxing out" the proverbial bond debt credit card with taxpayers as collateral is dangerous. Toll roads are both a political and financial LOSER,” comments Hall.
Link to AP story on oil prices topping $96 a barrel here .