West Virginia lawmaker gives directions around tolls

| Monday, July 20, 2009

While many lawmakers are scrambling to raise tolls in their states as transportation budgets dry up, one lawmaker in West Virginia is telling his constituents how to avoid paying tolls.

Faced with a toll increase on Aug. 1, Republican Delegate John Shott of West Virginia has outlined a plan for drivers there to avoid those higher tolls.

Shott, who fears that toll increases will hurt businesses in Charleston by keeping away those who live nearby, presented his plan to the Bluefield Daily Telegraph on Saturday.

In his plan, he included specific directions for getting around the three main toll plazas affected by the increases. Discounts are available for those with an E-Z Pass transponder, but Shott said that many in the region may be “allergic to technology.”

Rather than buy into the E-Z Pass system, Shott says most motorists will be looking for a way around the tolls. He thinks motorists will be more willing to sacrifice time and convenience to take the longer routes than to sacrifice their hard-earned money.

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