lawmakers are pushing legislation that assures a toll freeze
along the Massachusetts Turnpike, saying east-west commuters
will bear a disproportionate cost for the July 1 planned toll
hike. Turnpike officials told the joint Committee on Transportation
this past week they would scour the group's finances to weigh
are set to increase on the turnpike (I-90) within weeks to pay
off a portion of the bonds for the $14.6 billion "Big Dig"
construction project. The project will allow vehicles to travel
through Boston's downtown area via an underground tunnel system.
lawmakers have said they will fight tooth and nail to keep tolls
from increasing July 1. They are searching for alternative fund-raising
methods like higher fuel taxes and tolls in other parts of the
Turnpike Authority board is scheduled to return to the committee
in two weeks with a full analysis of toll increase alternatives.
can unilaterally decide when and how much to raise tolls on
the turnpike, but also must determine how to raise enough revenue
to pay for a portion of the Big Dig.