Turnpike officials in Maine want public opinion to help shape a proposal for toll increases.
Officials announced in October that tolls on the Maine Turnpike will increase in February 2009, which is a year ahead of schedule, by as much as 23 percent across the board. The toll schedule will include incentives for users to sign up for E-ZPass electronic toll accounts.
Officials have narrowed the plan to three possible scenarios for increases and E-ZPass discounts. Two public hearings in December are designed to help officials choose one proposal to be adopted by the turnpike’s board of directors.
Turnpike officials projected revenue to increase 2.5 percent in 2008. Instead, revenue declined 1.7 percent because of a drop in traffic volume.
Whichever scenario is adopted, turnpike officials are hoping to generate an additional $20 million per year, a net increase of 23 percent.
Should a 23 percent toll increase be adopted for commercial vehicles, a five-axle truck traveling from Augusta to Kittery would pay $19.68 instead of the current rate of $16.
“Tolls for commercial trucks, which are typically four times higher than those charged to passenger vehicles, will increase by the same percentage as passenger vehicles,” officials stated in the hearing announcement.
Volume discounts for commercial vehicles would remain the same under the plan, officials said.
Public hearing times and locations are as follows:
- 6 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 2, at the Holiday Inn Express, 352 North St., Exit 36, Saco, ME.
- 6 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 3, at the Fireside Inn, 1777 Washington St., Exit 57, Auburn, ME.
Click here to read more about the turnpike authority’s financial situation and the different proposals for toll increases.
– By David Tanner, staff writer