Perks Cost Massachusetts Nearly $1 Million in Toll Revenue
Current and former employees of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation may be costing the state a pretty penny, according to a new report from the Office of the Inspector General.
The analysis found that Massachusetts gave up nearly $1 million in toll revenue over a six-year period due to perks that allow MassDOT employees and retirees to travel on the state’s highways without having to pay any tolls.
According to the Boston Globe, the report found that more than $985,000 was lost between 2009 and 2015.
Over the years, it’s been a common, albeit controversial, practice for Massachusetts Turnpike Authority workers to use EZ-Pass transponders and passes in order bypass tolls, even after retirement. When MassDOT was created following a merger of the Authority with other agencies in 2009, the practice was allowed to continue.
The Inspector General’s report also found that MassDOT was unable to locate or identify the people who owned 85 of the transponders. Even worse, the report found 117 toll transactions had occurred where the official users of the EZ Pass were dead.
The report recommends that the transportation department eliminate this practice, since it doesn’t generate any revenue.
“Nonrevenue transponders and MTA cards cost the state transportation revenue,” the report stated. “The [Internal Special Audit Unit] found no business need for the devices or any collective bargaining agreement requiring the agency to provide these benefits.”