Outbound tolls would be out under Massachusetts Turnpike proposal

| 1/29/2004

Christy Mihos, a member of the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority board, has proposed a plan that would require drivers to pay tolls on the Turnpike Extension when entering Boston, but not when leaving, The Boston Globe reported Jan. 27.

Incoming tolls would be doubled, but drivers headed home would no longer have to wait at toll gates.

In addition, Mihos told the newspaper that the plan would save money by eliminating staffing for outgoing toll booths. In addition, the state would pay less in fees for its Fast Lane automatic toll collection system, which costs the state 8 cents each time it is used.

However, the plan is not without critics, or problems. The MetroWest Daily News reported that the rest of the Turnpike Authority board would have to OK the plan. But those members have had a number of public battles with Mihos. In addition, a Turnpike spokesman told the newspaper the plan would encourage toll evasion by inbound drivers, who could avoid tolls in the morning by taking side streets.