MnDOT Releases Tolling Feasibility Study

The goal of the study, which was mandated by the 2017 Legislature, was to evaluate the ability of certain rural and urban corridors to generate toll revenue.
(Published Feb 5, 2018)

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) has released a study that examines the feasibility of broader tolling in the state. The report was mandated by the Minnesota Legislature as a provision in a bill passed in 2017.

The law required MnDOT to look at modern tolling practices in other states, along with policy and legal considerations, and a traffic and revenue analysis in Minnesota.

The goal of the study was to evaluate the ability of certain rural and urban corridors to generate toll revenue. The department selected interstate and trunk highways representing typical corridors to provide revenue estimates. The agency is not recommending that any of the corridors examined in the study be converted to tollways.

Although the study presents the framework and analysis of estimated costs and revenue, and summarizes policies and other legal issues, MnDOT concluded that a more detailed study would be needed before any decision could be made to implement a specific toll project.

Among the issues MnDOT considered in the study were current state and federal laws that restrict how tolling revenue can be collected and used. MnDOT also considered the public’s opposition to tolling, including privacy concerns about automated enforcement.

The Legislature required that this study evaluate tolling as a transportation funding source by converting existing general purpose lanes of the studied corridors to toll lanes.

Minnesota currently has toll facilities as part of the MnPASS network, which is designed to manage and reduce congestion.

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