Video of the Senate Transportation Committee Hearing on the Trans Texas Corridor- Part 4Somervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


Video of the Senate Transportation Committee Hearing on the Trans Texas Corridor- Part 4

6 March 2007 at 1:16:50 AM

Part 1    Part 2     Part 3

From the Austin American Statesman

Texas senators on Thursday peppered state transportation officials with questions about whether their turn to private toll roads is really the best route around the state's growing traffic jam.

In an all-day hearing attended by hundreds of irate Texans, members of the Senate Transportation and Homeland Security Committee questioned officials about upfront fees and back-end profits for the state's private partners, as well as whether the job could be done better with public financing and more oversight by elected

Enright on other toll projects from other states, private/public partnerships.

Dennis Enright, a financial analyst with NW Financial Group LLC invited to testify by Carona, said putting private companies in charge of toll roads, and getting a big bonus on the front end from them, inevitably leads to higher tolls for drivers.

"Without the upfront money, the tolls would be a fraction," Enright said.

He said drivers on the Texas 121 toll road would, in effect, be subsidizing roads for other drivers.

"Is a toll a toll, or is it allowed to be a tax?" Carona said. "Today's tolls are just disguised taxes."

TxDOT CFO James Bass-some amusing moments. Entire thing here, pieces below.

Why would we NOT know how much the costs will be? What about a 185 toll? Legislators wouldn't be elected.

Callout of one bit where Bass says the market rate will be determined by the drivers who will get on or not on the toll road. However, what happens if there's only ONE ROAD to go on?

Can't right now calculate given trends? CFO doesn't know. Texas Lege, then, would be reluctant to give up local control.

Shapiro calls out Bass on seeing the North Texas Tollway bid

Can't tell about costs until contract signed........ ?????? !!!!!!!!

Heh. Senator Carona wants estimate on what toll costs will be. Bass asks what his estimate is? Carona says That's what I want to ask you (to audience laughter)

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