You know them. You hate them.
It’s contentious, and very complex, says Dr. Wie Yusuf, associate professor in public administration, in the College of Business at Old Dominion University.
Her talk, “Tolls, tolls everywhere…a new fact of life in Hampton Roads,” will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 21 at Oozlefinch Craft Brewery at Fort Monroe. It’s the next talk in the Science Pubs ODU series, a free and casual conversation with ODU researchers around the community.
“An interesting finding is that there were almost equal percentages of support and opposition to tolls,” Yusuf said. “More recently, I’ve been studying how drivers respond to the tolls, and how they avoid traveling on tolled facilities. More than 40 percent of drivers changed their commute to avoid tolls or avoiding destinations requiring travel through a tolled facility.”
The idea for Yusuf’s research came from a recurring question: How do we pay for transportation infrastructure? She said there’s an increased focus on using public-private partnerships to fund transportation infrastructure without large financial investment from governments. Most public-private partnerships rely on tolls, she said.
She’s surveyed residents to find how tolls affect perceptions of the community, support for tolls, and how drivers respond, including if they’ll take a different route to avoid paying.
“I’m also interested in behavioral public finance (how people respond to taxes, fees, etc.) and environmental justice,” Yusuf said. “Studying public support for and driver responses to tolling was a natural research focus given our region’s experiences with tolling in recent years.”
Along with Yusuf’s talk on Feb. 21, Science Pubs spring schedule includes “Lightning Talks” on March 21 at O’Connor Brewing in Norfolk. “Lightning Talks” are five-minute or less talks given by graduate students from across the university. Topics include biology, oceanography, humanities, psychology, business, and more.
On April 26, Alison Stinely, assistant professor in the Department of Art at ODU will present “3-D Printing: Merging Antiquity & New Technology in Art Making” at the Bearded Bird in Norfolk’s NEON district.
Join the conversation on Wednesday: Networking begins at 6 p.m., followed by trivia and the talk at 6:30. The first 20 to arrive will receive a free beverage ticket. RSVPs are recommended but not required.