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Author Topic: Open houses for tolling I-80 across Wyoming  (Read 50929 times)

Alps

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Re: Open houses for tolling I-80 across Wyoming
« Reply #25 on: September 26, 2009, 11:07:15 AM »

That doesn't apply in the case of I-80 though, it should be noted. US-30 and I-80 run concurrent for most of the state, and between Rock Springs and Rawlins there are NO OTHER ROADS (state highway, dirt, or otherwise) to get between the two towns, short of going all the way up to Lander and back south.

Also, the proposed tolls for trucks along I-80 are in excess of $100
But how many trucks are going to/from Wyoming?  Most are passing through and would seek alternate routes that would avoid I-80 in the state entirely.

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Re: Open houses for tolling I-80 across Wyoming
« Reply #26 on: September 26, 2009, 11:31:33 AM »

any trucks are going to/from Wyoming?  Most are passing through and would seek alternate routes that would avoid I-80 in the state entirely.

an eighteen-wheeler gets about 6 miles per gallon.  100 bucks buys you, at 3 bucks a gallon, 33 gallons of diesel.  33 times 6 is 200 miles.  Trucks will make a detour of 200 miles, but no more.  I-70 and I-90 (your two realistic alternatives for a cross-country trek from, say, San Francisco to New York), are more than 200 miles away.  QED.

yes, a lot of trucks coming out of LA will instead take I-15 to I-70 at Richfield instead of to I-80 at Salt Lake.  Similarly, trucks coming out of Portland may decide to take I-84 to I-86 to I-15 up to I-90 instead of I-84 to I-80.  But, in general, the toll rate chosen by Wyoming is a very, very sensible one.  Excessive, from the our perspective as poor roadgeeks, but when factored into the costs of a long-haul load, and the fact that I-80 is the gentlest Rockies crossing north of I-40, Wyoming is nicely hitting the peak of the supply-demand curve. 
« Last Edit: September 26, 2009, 11:36:29 AM by agentsteel53 »
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Re: Open houses for tolling I-80 across Wyoming
« Reply #27 on: September 27, 2009, 12:30:28 AM »

"The state of Wyoming is rightfully pissed that it's paying for maintenance for California trucks to go to Chicago without the state of Wyoming seeing any benefit. Because nobody lives in Wyoming, all the traffic is heading for other states and Wyoming is paying for these vehicles to do that. That's not fair to Wyoming."

If WYDOT can show me where they paid for even 50% of I-80 rebuilding costs (we know Wyoming didn't pay more than their 10% share of initial construction :rolleyes:), I'll take their complaints seriously. And besides, Wyoming gets more revenue from coal, oil, and natural gas than they could use on current operating expenses, so they should be able to front as much of the cost of rebuild as possible without having to do something as egregious as tolling I-80.

But then again, I'm a Colorado resident who'd experience an I-70 at a near-standstill if tolling I-80 ever happened, so of course I'm biased :-P
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Re: Open houses for tolling I-80 across Wyoming
« Reply #28 on: September 27, 2009, 05:40:31 AM »

I think the distance of I-80 through Wyoming is long enough to generate some user fees payed by fuel taxes. Most cars do have to fill up once in 400 miles, and trucks maybe not as often, but they fill up if needed, or where it's the cheapest, and as far as I know, Wyoming is one of the cheapest.

But they could build a mainline toll plaza between Rock Springs and Rawlins, no chance of shunpikers there, because there are no other roads in this area. US 287 is a 140 mile detour, I don't think many people will do that to avoid a few dollars.

Terry Shea

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Re: Open houses for tolling I-80 across Wyoming
« Reply #29 on: September 27, 2009, 10:01:19 AM »

"The state of Wyoming is rightfully pissed that it's paying for maintenance for California trucks to go to Chicago without the state of Wyoming seeing any benefit. Because nobody lives in Wyoming, all the traffic is heading for other states and Wyoming is paying for these vehicles to do that. That's not fair to Wyoming."

If WYDOT can show me where they paid for even 50% of I-80 rebuilding costs (we know Wyoming didn't pay more than their 10% share of initial construction :rolleyes:), I'll take their complaints seriously. And besides, Wyoming gets more revenue from coal, oil, and natural gas than they could use on current operating expenses, so they should be able to front as much of the cost of rebuild as possible without having to do something as egregious as tolling I-80.

But then again, I'm a Colorado resident who'd experience an I-70 at a near-standstill if tolling I-80 ever happened, so of course I'm biased :-P
Not to mention the fact that Wyoming has very few highways to maintain.  But if they want to toll it that's fine with me because I'll never take I-80 through Wyoming again.  It will be known as the Ghost Tollway.
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Re: Open houses for tolling I-80 across Wyoming
« Reply #30 on: September 27, 2009, 11:42:36 AM »

Wyoming gets more revenue from coal, oil, and natural gas than they could use on current operating expenses, so they should be able to front as much of the cost of rebuild as possible without having to do something as egregious as tolling I-80.

that is not a reasonable argument.  that is like saying "oh, they have the money, they can afford to run a deficit in Department A by borrowing from Department B". 
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Re: Open houses for tolling I-80 across Wyoming
« Reply #31 on: September 27, 2009, 12:02:53 PM »

Wyoming gets more revenue from coal, oil, and natural gas than they could use on current operating expenses, so they should be able to front as much of the cost of rebuild as possible without having to do something as egregious as tolling I-80.

that is not a reasonable argument.  that is like saying "oh, they have the money, they can afford to run a deficit in Department A by borrowing from Department B". 
That's how governmental units work.  Surpluses in some areas are used to offset deficits in other areas.  On the national scene, Wyoming gets more revenue coming into the state per capita than any other state I believe.  In other words they receive much more in federal monies than what they pay in while here in Michigan we only get about 85-90% of the tax dollars we pay out back, because we have to subsidize states like Wyoming.  I'm already paying for road projects in Wyoming.  I'm not about to subject myself to double taxation.
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Re: Open houses for tolling I-80 across Wyoming
« Reply #32 on: September 27, 2009, 12:15:30 PM »

"That's how governmental units work.  Surpluses in some areas are used to offset deficits in other areas.  On the national scene, Wyoming gets more revenue coming into the state per capita than any other state I believe.  In other words they receive much more in federal monies than what they pay in while here in Michigan we only get about 85-90% of the tax dollars we pay out back, because we have to subsidize states like Wyoming.  I'm already paying for road projects in Wyoming.  I'm not about to subject myself to double taxation."

Actually, WY is close to break-even on the federal benefits/taxes ratio, except on the gas tax disbursement formula.

But let's forget about that part of the issue. I strongly suspect WY gets a fair amount of sales tax revenue from all those big truckstops that are located on I-80 to serve those truckers who are wearing down I-80. And I reckon that the state and communities along I-80 get a fair amount of motel tax revenue, as well. And have we even mentioned that WY, a relatively non-poverty stricken state, has one of the lowest gas taxes in the nation :-P

Bottom line: The notion that Wyoming is harmed by having to pay out in I-80 maintenance costs to benefits the cross-country traveller is rather illegitimate. :pan:
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Re: Open houses for tolling I-80 across Wyoming
« Reply #33 on: September 27, 2009, 12:22:28 PM »

how much sales and motel tax do they get?  It isn't anywhere near the $100 or so they would toll a truck to get across on I-80.  That's a day's journey for a truck, and 75 gallons of diesel.  So assume maybe 20 dollars of gas tax revenue, and 10% of a $45 hotel bill.  Not nearly the same.

I say Wyoming lower their state gas tax to compensate for this new revenue stream; they still make more money and locals (who drive mainly all the other roads that are not I-80) will see a benefit.
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Re: Open houses for tolling I-80 across Wyoming
« Reply #34 on: September 27, 2009, 12:57:13 PM »

"how much sales and motel tax do they get?  It isn't anywhere near the $100 or so they would toll a truck to get across on I-80."

This presumes that the trucking industry would have no issues with paying $100 to cross Wyoming. This is demonstrably false. The major reason why US287 in Southern Colorado has about 1400 trucks/day (supplying the CO Front Range) on the road is so those trucks can avoid paying the Kansas Turnpike for about 40 miles of their road south of Wichita.

After all, no sane trucking firm would take a much slower US287 through TX, OK, and CO if there weren't fee avoidance involved :happy:
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Re: Open houses for tolling I-80 across Wyoming
« Reply #35 on: September 27, 2009, 01:21:00 PM »

given the scarcity of other roads besides I-80, a lot of the trucks will just bite the bullet and continue using that route.  I-70 and I-90 are the only other reasonable options for a long-haul run.
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Re: Open houses for tolling I-80 across Wyoming
« Reply #36 on: September 27, 2009, 03:27:15 PM »

"The major reason why US287 in Southern Colorado has about 1400 trucks/day (supplying the CO Front Range) on the road is so those trucks can avoid paying the Kansas Turnpike for about 40 miles of their road south of Wichita."

Or could it be that US287 is 100 miles shorter between Denver and Dallas than I-70 to I-35? I think the fuel that saves would be a bigger consideration than the toll savings.
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Re: Open houses for tolling I-80 across Wyoming
« Reply #37 on: September 27, 2009, 05:04:38 PM »

how much sales and motel tax do they get?  It isn't anywhere near the $100 or so they would toll a truck to get across on I-80.  That's a day's journey for a truck, and 75 gallons of diesel.  So assume maybe 20 dollars of gas tax revenue, and 10% of a $45 hotel bill.  Not nearly the same.

I say Wyoming lower their state gas tax to compensate for this new revenue stream; they still make more money and locals (who drive mainly all the other roads that are not I-80) will see a benefit.
Twisted logic.  I don't believe truckers stay in hotels very often (if ever).  If you toll I-80 you'll no doubt keep some of the truck traffic but most vacationers passing through will opt to take I-70 since it's more scenic and not much longer.  So the state of Wyoming and the businesses therein will be losing out on gasoline, lodging and food revenue.  Truckers and trucking companies will also avoid it if at all possible.  This is a terrible plan for both businesses and the state.  They may as well put up signs saying "Keep Out-We Don't Want You Here".
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Re: Open houses for tolling I-80 across Wyoming
« Reply #38 on: September 27, 2009, 05:10:01 PM »

that is why vacationers (who, for the most part, are not driving 10-axle vehicles) are tolled a lot less.
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Re: Open houses for tolling I-80 across Wyoming
« Reply #39 on: September 27, 2009, 06:34:39 PM »

that is why vacationers (who, for the most part, are not driving 10-axle vehicles) are tolled a lot less.
It's still a toll!  Travelers will avoid I-80 across Wyoming like the plague.  I can't believe businesses along the I-80 are very happy about this prospect.
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Re: Open houses for tolling I-80 across Wyoming
« Reply #40 on: September 27, 2009, 07:23:33 PM »

there is no place to go to affordably avoid the toll road. 
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Re: Open houses for tolling I-80 across Wyoming
« Reply #41 on: September 27, 2009, 08:10:48 PM »



Actually, WY is close to break-even on the federal benefits/taxes ratio, except on the gas tax disbursement formula.


Uh, no that's not an accurate statement at all.  In recent years they've received from $1.11 to $1.16 for every tax dollar paid in.  I can only find figures through 2005, but I doubt recent years vary much from these figures:
http://www.taxfoundation.org/files/ftsbs-timeseries-20071016-.pdf
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Re: Open houses for tolling I-80 across Wyoming
« Reply #42 on: September 27, 2009, 08:12:23 PM »

In recent years they've received from $1.11 to $1.16 for every tax dollar paid in. 

compare that to the states receiving $1.60 or more!
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Re: Open houses for tolling I-80 across Wyoming
« Reply #43 on: September 27, 2009, 08:20:08 PM »

Quote
It's still a toll!  Travelers will avoid I-80 across Wyoming like the plague.  I can't believe businesses along the I-80 are very happy about this prospect.

Only if those travelers don't place a high value on additional travel time/mileage and fuel costs would they avoid a tolled I-80 across Wyoming.

Using an I-15/US 6/I-70/I-76 route to bypass I-80 in Wyoming adds about 130 miles and, because of some lower speed limits and the 2-lane sections along US 6, about 3 hours of travel time.  Assuming a 30 MPG car and $3/gal gas (certainly plausible given it'll be at least a few years before tolling is implemented), that adds about $13 in additional gas costs.

Even if the I-80 toll is limited to the Rock Springs-Rawlins segment, the additional mileage and travel time (via US 191/WY 28/US 287) remains about the same.
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Re: Open houses for tolling I-80 across Wyoming
« Reply #44 on: September 27, 2009, 08:28:34 PM »

In recent years they've received from $1.11 to $1.16 for every tax dollar paid in. 

compare that to the states receiving $1.60 or more!
Except that we're not talking about other states here, we're talking about Wyoming.  That's the state proposing to build a tollway across the entire length of the state, and they already receive much more in federal tax dollars than what they pay in.  The fact that some other states may receive even more per dollar than what they pay in is irrelevant.
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Re: Open houses for tolling I-80 across Wyoming
« Reply #45 on: September 27, 2009, 08:34:19 PM »

whether they do or do not receive more in federal funds than what they pay in isn't actually relevant to whether or not a toll road makes sense for them.  Furthermore, their toll road is not relevant to *you*, a Michigan resident.  Your argument against the toll road  ("they get enough money already!") seems to be more motivated by anger than an actual look at the numbers.
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Re: Open houses for tolling I-80 across Wyoming
« Reply #46 on: September 27, 2009, 08:38:47 PM »

Quote
It's still a toll!  Travelers will avoid I-80 across Wyoming like the plague.  I can't believe businesses along the I-80 are very happy about this prospect.

Only if those travelers don't place a high value on additional travel time/mileage and fuel costs would they avoid a tolled I-80 across Wyoming.

Using an I-15/US 6/I-70/I-76 route to bypass I-80 in Wyoming adds about 130 miles and, because of some lower speed limits and the 2-lane sections along US 6, about 3 hours of travel time.  Assuming a 30 MPG car and $3/gal gas (certainly plausible given it'll be at least a few years before tolling is implemented), that adds about $13 in additional gas costs.

Even if the I-80 toll is limited to the Rock Springs-Rawlins segment, the additional mileage and travel time (via US 191/WY 28/US 287) remains about the same.

It looks to me to be more like 50 miles rather than 130.  It's virtually the same distance from SLC to Denver going either way, so you just need to determine the difference from the I-80/I-76 interchange to Cheyenne and Denver respectively.  US-50 between I-15 and I-70 is another option.  Although slightly longer it's more freeway and very little 2-lane.  You also seem to be assuming that all the traffic heading east is going to stay in the I-80 corridor when in reality much of it would venture south at some point anyway.
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Re: Open houses for tolling I-80 across Wyoming
« Reply #47 on: September 27, 2009, 08:44:10 PM »

It looks to me to be more like 50 miles rather than 130. 

it's 125.  130 is close enough!
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Re: Open houses for tolling I-80 across Wyoming
« Reply #48 on: September 27, 2009, 08:52:58 PM »

whether they do or do not receive more in federal funds than what they pay in isn't actually relevant to whether or not a toll road makes sense for them.  Furthermore, their toll road is not relevant to *you*, a Michigan resident.  Your argument against the toll road  ("they get enough money already!") seems to be more motivated by anger than an actual look at the numbers.
It's relevant to anyone living in the area or anyone who plans to travel through the area.  It's relevant to anyone who pays federal taxes, especially those from states who receive less in tax revenue than what they pay out.  I don't like paying taxes.  Period.  I don't like paying tolls.  Period.  If they toll I-80 through Wyoming I will seek an alternative...or at least I would except for the fact that I already always take I-70 to US-6 to go to Salt Lake City and regions to the west.  I took I-80 through Wyoming once and wasn't that impressed.  I-70 is much more scenic and doesn't take much longer.  I'm sure not going to pay a toll for the "privilege" of driving through Wyoming and I don't know why anyone else would.   
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Re: Open houses for tolling I-80 across Wyoming
« Reply #49 on: September 27, 2009, 09:04:05 PM »

It looks to me to be more like 50 miles rather than 130. 

it's 125.  130 is close enough!
Hmmm.  I think you're right.  I miscalculated somewhere.  At any rate vacationers would be more apt to take in the scenery along I-70.  The fact that they're driving rather than flying means they aren't likely to be in such a hurry to get where they're going.  And as I stated previously, a lot of the traffic along I-80 will divert south to I-70 at some point anyway, so if Wyoming goes forth with tolling I-80 people will simply divert south sooner.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2009, 09:05:54 PM by Terry Shea »
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