Re: “Bridge tolls are more than fees” (TNT, 5-1).
Would all economists love tolling? Tolls cost far more to collect than taxes do. Some drivers are price-sensitive. Tolls that ignore price elasticity generate less revenue than tolls that differentiate market segments’ ability/willingness to pay. Tolls can encourage undesirable behaviors.
Furthermore, the users of the state Route 520 bridge are not the only beneficiaries of its existence. Those who routinely took Interstate 90 benefited from SR 520 being free; they are “paying” now with time and fuel since traffic on the free bridge has risen 10 percent. Won’t the free …