Cherian George, Managing Director, Fitch Ratings, asks: “What is the solution for managing tolling in the U.S.? Part of it could rest with taking business decisions out of the hands of politicians and devolving authority to the lowest level, i.e. an appointed board with no veto authority from elected officials.
“If a politician is responsible for making business decisions on how to run a business like a toll road or an airport, the politics will be rampant within that process. Creating distance between an elected official and an executive decision and creating transparency in the decision-making process is a way to limit the impact of politics. Having a representative board of major stakeholders — not elected officials or their direct appointees — with longer and staggered terms that focuses on the objectives of providing quality services and maintaining financial viability at the least cost can also serve to create a sorely needed independent component in the process.