Tale of the Tolls
Remember how a couple of weeks ago we were told we’d have either casinos or Orwellian highway-use monitoring and soul-crushing tolls? Perhaps the state wants to give highway drivers a break, as the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority approved a “smaller than anticipated” toll hike.
The proposed hike on Jan. 1 would raise tolls at the Allston-Brighton and Weston booths by 25 cents instead of 75 cents, upping the cost to $1.25. Tolls in the Ted Williams and Sumner tunnels would increase by 50 cents to $3.50, as opposed to the discussed $3 jump that would have doubled the cost for drivers.
However, because the toll-hile won’t cover the $100 million the Turnpike Authority needs to repair bridges and pay their employees, our infrastructure will have to hold up until Gov. Deval Patrick’s plan to merge state transportation agencies either comes to fruition, or falls flat in the legislature.
In other no-new-tolls news, Senate President Therese Murray said that the highway usage fee that was proposed by the Transportation Finance Commission last month is not a possibility.
“That’s off the table,” Murray (D-Plymouth) said of the proposal, which would require residents to install a GPS tracker in their vehicles. She said such a mandate by the state would likely result in a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union.
“Likely?” The ACLU suing over state-mandated GPS devices is a bet we’d make at any of our proposed resort casinos.