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Mass. moves to eliminate most tolls

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Mass. Turnpike board OKs removal of western tolls

By Glen Johnson

Associated Press Political Writer

BOSTON -- The Massachusetts Turnpike Authority board on Wednesday moved to eliminate all tolls on the roadway west of Route 128 as a cost-saving measure and to satisfy drivers who have long complained the state promised to get rid of tolls years ago.

The changes would save a noncommercial driver up to $2.30 per trip and take effect June 30. The changes do not have to be approved by the Legislature, the Romney administration believes.

http://www.portsmouthherald.com/news/speci..._18special6.htm

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Sounds good to me, I can't see how anyone will oppose this except for the 200 or so toll collectors.

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It would sound good to me if I were a planner w/ the Mass Tpk Authority, but if I were with the Mass Dept of Highways I wouldn't be thrilled at all!

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And how, exactly, are the roads going to be kept up? The Higway department can't keep up with what they have now - adding the entire turnpike to them is going to doom all the other roads, too.

Political fluff - make yourself look like such a good doer and stick everyone else with picking up afterwards.

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And how, exactly, are the roads going to be kept up? The Higway department can't keep up with what they have now - adding the entire turnpike to them is going to doom all the other roads, too.

Political fluff - make yourself look like such a good doer and stick everyone else with picking up afterwards.

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Don't expect the tolls to go away.

It's a well-timed political ploy designed to give a boost to one running for governor that is far behind the leader.

The Mass Pike is one of the most well maintained roads I have ever driven and the overall toll rate per mile is one the least expensive in the nation.

True, the cost of collecting the tolls in the western part of the state exceeds the toll revenues.

The Turnpike Authority should invest in newer toll collection technology that is all electronic.

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The excess was only in the western part of the state, where there were few cars traveling the road. For all the criticism of the toll collectors and such, it does provide a heafty source of funding. One of the reasons why there are so many collectors and so much expense is that there are so many toll boths - at each directio, instead of one central location. But the Turnpike is a bit different in that it is fed primarily by smaller feeder roads, only in a few cases is it a major highway junction.

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If the plan goes forward, then I expect you will see more interchanges constructed in the future -- especially between 495 and 128.

I agree that the quality of the road will likely decline over time if it is put under Department of Highways.

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The problem with the Mass Pike tolls is not the money, it's the traffic.

I'll be honest, I think the best thing to do would be to make it a fixed rate toll so that you pay when you get on, not when you get off. This would reduce the amount of complication and it would take away a ton of the traffic pressure. I think the only place that wouldn't be affected in a highly positive manner is the interchange with I-84. This also removes the ticket system so you reduce operating costs by far. I suspect that even if they charged $1.00 for passenger and $5.00 for commerical traffic they would do a lot better than they do now.

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The problem with the Mass Pike tolls is not the money, it's the traffic.

I'll be honest, I think the best thing to do would be to make it a fixed rate toll so that you pay when you get on, not when you get off. This would reduce the amount of complication and it would take away a ton of the traffic pressure. I think the only place that wouldn't be affected in a highly positive manner is the interchange with I-84. This also removes the ticket system so you reduce operating costs by far. I suspect that even if they charged $1.00 for passenger and $5.00 for commerical traffic they would do a lot better than they do now.

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I agree with the fixed rate tolls, but I think you will get too many gripes that way. They already have fixed rate tools in Alston/brighton and the tunnels. And people complain about those rates. They would have to averge the rates out, so they would probably be a lot higher for a majority of the people.

As fasr as the traffic goes, the real sticking point for that is the Weston tolls and I84. The roads themselves are just too narrow and twisty.

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I agree with the fixed rate tolls, but I think you will get too many gripes that way. They already have fixed rate tools in Alston/brighton and the tunnels. And people complain about those rates. They would have to averge the rates out, so they would probably be a lot higher for a majority of the people.

As fasr as the traffic goes, the real sticking point for that is the Weston tolls and I84. The roads themselves are just too narrow and twisty.

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The backups at the Auburn exit have a lot to do with the construction on 290. Once 146 is properly connected to 290, I would expect that volume to drop as more people choose that exit. if they are living down that way.

I agree that $1 and $5 would be less, and that's it - that would not be enough to replace teh tools, so it would be far more likely to be $2 or even $3. Think of the tunnels and Alston-Brighton.

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Is I-93 maintained by the state as it runs through it? In other words, can it put tolls along it? If so, I think the state could make a very justified profit by putting tolls before the Big Dig Tunnels on I-93 N. and before the Zakim Bridge on I-93 S. A lot of cities have tolls before major structures (Baltimore, NYC, etc.). People might kill me, but I would even put another toll on the Pike before the Ted Williams Tunnel and use the money to expand transit. These new tolls would be a kind of watered down version of London's entry toll. It would reduce traffic on those two highways and would also improve the mass transit system. Just my thoughts......

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Is I-93 maintained by the state as it runs through it? In other words, can it put tolls along it? If so, I think the state could make a very justified profit by putting tolls before the Big Dig Tunnels on I-93 N. and before the Zakim Bridge on I-93 S. A lot of cities have tolls before major structures (Baltimore, NYC, etc.). People might kill me, but I would even put another toll on the Pike before the Ted Williams Tunnel and use the money to expand transit. These new tolls would be a kind of watered down version of London's entry toll. It would reduce traffic on those two highways and would also improve the mass transit system. Just my thoughts......

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Nice, this will save me some dough...

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Probably not, they're backpeddling on this something fierce right now. I wouldn't throw out my EZ-Pass just yet.

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