What's a better way to fund roads: Taxes or Tolls?

A Strong Towns member recently sent us this infographic created by the UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies, in light of new toll roads in the Los Angeles area:

One of the goals of the graphic is to debunk the myth that toll roads disproportionately impact poor people. But the points made at the end are salient for reasons beyond that. As the graphic concludes:

  1. Drivers don't pay for the roads they use. Not even close. Tolling is one way to get drivers paying for at least some of their use and shifting a little of the burden from the general public toward the main people who use the roads.
  2. Drivers need to realize how much their roads cost and take responsibility for that cost. Tolling only covers a fraction of that cost and we have a long way to go before enough people understand the true costs of their roads. And yet, the tolling system begins to put responsibility for those costs on drivers.
  3. Tolling can be used to adjust the amount of people driving at a given time, which in turn can decrease congestion and pollution, and encourage people to use other modes of transportation that are cheaper for everyone.

What do you think of this infographic? Does it make a compelling point?

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