It could be said, if glibly so, that where trucks roll, tolls climb. At best, tolls are a necessary evil. Certainly, when truckers digitally fork over, say, $30 to cross a major bridge – plus another $11 or $12 to pay that toll by mail (via license-plate capture) – they expect in return to drive over a safe and well-maintained roadway.
The American Transportation Research Institute analyzed toll-system revenue in a 2020 research paper (see 'Tolling by the Numbers' at the end of the article). In the report’s foreword, ATRI sharply states the politics that can envelop tolling – and the sheer inevitability of this revenue driver: “Trucking is often a target revenue source for those states that need money to close funding gaps. This is often an easy political decision, since truck tolls are charged to businesses, not individuals or voters. Likewise, trucks often have no choice but to pay a toll due to lack of alternative routes.”