Although Maine Turnpike officials may have originally touted
the roadway’s E-ZPass system as a cost-saver for drivers, new data shows that
it was also a big money-maker for the state as well.
According to the Portland Press Herald, the Turnpike
Authority took in $6.3 million more in E-ZPass revenue than had been expected
between Feb. 1, 2005, and Jan. 31, 2006. Last year was the first year the
Turnpike had used the E-ZPass system.
How the windfall will be used has not yet been announced;
however, Turnpike CEO Paul Violette said the money could be put toward
improvements on the 113-mile stretch of roadway.
“There is no end to the amount of money we need for the
capital program,” he told the Press Herald.
Maine isn’t the only East Coast state to pull in large sums
of money from its toll road. Earlier this month, the New York State Thruway
Authority announced an unexpected $5 million in revenue, most of which was
attributed to an increase in tolls a year earlier.