Pike Hike


We were hoping this wasn’t going to happen. Unfortunately, it did. Yesterday, the ever-popular Massachusetts Turnpike Authority voted 3-to-2 to increase tolls at four locations.

Remember when the current governor said he was going to shut down the MTA?

Remember when the old governor said he was going to eliminate tolls altogether?

Seems as though we were all duped by our elected officials. Shocking.

Despite the fact that five public hearings were held on the matter, the board was apparently set on voting this way. Board members Judy Pagliuca and Mary Connaughton voted against the hike, while Gov. Deval Patrick appointees Michael Angelini and Thomas Stephen voted with board chairman Bernard Cohen to get the measure passed. Here’s what we can now look forward to:

The board decided to institute toll hikes of 25 cents at the Allston and Weston toll booths for a total of $1.25, and 50 cents at the Sumner and Ted Williams tunnels to bring those tolls to $3.50. The increase will go into effect Jan. 1.

Yippee. Just in time for the New Year.

According to those who voted for the measure, the increase follows projections made way back in 1999 — recommendations that will supposedly help the Pike Authority pay down the Big Dig debt it still owes to bondholders.

Which makes us wonder how many of those bondholders travel the pike. It amuses us to think that the MTA will be paying them with their own money, however small a sum.

The only thing we’re missing now is some circus music.