Officials considering small toll increase for Ohio Turnpike

| 7/28/2006

The roller coaster ride that is the Ohio Turnpike’s truck toll prices is taking another turn.

The Ohio Turnpike Commission, which in 2004 lowered the truck tolls by 25 percent to entice trucks back to the roadway after an 82 percent toll increase in 1999 drove truckers onto overloaded two-lane roads, is once again considering raising the price for commercial vehicles.

But unlike previous increases, which nearly doubled the toll for some truck classes, the prices would increase by only about a penny per mile for most trucks, according to a turnpike press release.

While this move by the commission is not good news, it shouldn’t come as a surprise. States all over the country are looking hard at highways and how they can get more out of the people who use roads.

“Truckers are the cash cow,” said OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer. “The only way to really fight back is to refuse to run those roads – and to remember those elected officials when it’s time to vote.”

Spencer gave the example of Indiana.

“Transportation interests all over the country will be watching Indiana this November. If the state lawmakers there that voted to sell off the toll road get turned out en masse, other politicians will instantly conclude this is not a good idea. If they get re-elected, you can expect many more states to move to toll roads.”

–B y Aaron Ladage, staff writer