Don’t blame just the gas tax for California’s pump prices — refineries are getting paid $3 billion more a year than they should
Los Angeles Times » Estimates of a mysterious premium being collected by the state’s refineries range from at least 20 cents per gallon — as calculated by UC Berkeley energy economist Severin Borenstein — to more than 30 cents, as reckoned by the advocacy group Consumer Watchdog. Neither figure includes the Nov. 1 tax increase.
This Editorial discusses carpool lane violators and describes some of the proposed bills Virginia state legislators are considering to address the heavy traffic congestion on the Interstate 66 (I-66) corridor inside and outside the Beltway. Proposals include prohibiting tolls on I-66, and widening the road on either side of the Beltway.
This article investigates the financial failure of the Pocahontas Parkway, Route-895, in Virginia. This was the first public-private partnership (P3) used for a highway project in Virginia and the private sector was eager to contribute and ultimately spent more than $300 million. The route that the highway follows was meant to become a center of development, with several thousand homes being planned. Then the economic recession hit and that development never materialized resulting in a road that is barely traveled with pricey tolls. In 2006 Transurban took over management of the road with hopes of turning the road around but had to transfer the road to its creditors in July 2013 because the company could no longer afford to meet the required debt payments. This project exhibits a primary flaw in P3 deals in that they often solely based on profit rather than concrete community infrastructure needs.
Another article on the same topic with more detail on the road’s history and what the future may hold for the road can be accessed here.
This piece compares the Richmond Route 895 (Pocahontas Parkway) to the 495 Express Lanes. Both were public-private partnership toll routes that are managed by the same Australia based firm Transurban. While the Pocahontas Parkway was recently turned over to its creditors Transurban insists that there is no comparison or reason to believe that the 495 project will have the same fate. However a look at the Beltway’s HOT lane numbers show that the lanes already have far fewer drivers using them at this point than originally projected. Goes on to provide examples from across the country of other HOT lane projects that are under performing in regards to revenues and traffic, specifically in Atlanta, Los Angeles and Seattle.