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Trucks not footing fair share of highway repair costs, RAC report says


Railway Association of Canada (RAC) July 30 released a report analyzing highway infrastructure costs and how the government recovers those costs.

"Heavy Goods Vehicles Infrastructure Costs and Revenue" shows that one heavy truck on Canada's highways damages as much pavement as 20,000 cars, but that automobile owners are paying for a majority of road wear and tear.

"Governments spend $12 billion a year on roads in Canada," said RAC President and Chief Executive Officer Bill Rowat in a prepared statement. "That's not sustainable, [and] there are no income and balance sheets for roads in Canada, by road or in total."

Rowat believes Canada should conduct a proper cost-allocation study of its road system, perhaps integrated with U.S. studies.

"This would bring a more commercial perspective to road finance and help identify if and where subsidies are causing distortions in the freight market," he said, adding that Canada should rely on better cost-recovery information to design programs that balance infrastructure support for different modes — including railroads.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/31/2002