Turnpike Authority considers plan to raise rush hour tolls
The "rush hour" tolls were just one idea floated by the Turnpike Authority board at yesterday's meeting. Other ideas included the creation of toll express lanes that would allow Fast Lane users to pass through at normal highway speeds, and a system of videos cameras to record license plate numbers and send bills to drivers without transponders.
The express lanes would allow vehicles with transponders to cruise through tolls at highway speeds, instead of having to slow down to 15 mph as is now required.
The Romney administration late last year proposed removing most tolls, but that now appears to be off the table entirely.
Lawmakers have also filed several bills proposing to end tolls or to give discounts to commuters from the western suburbs, who claim they are paying an unfair share of the Big Dig's $14.8 billion price tag.
Final decisions on the changes will be influenced by findings of the state's Transportation Finance Commission, which plans this summer to issue recommendations that could include higher tolls, the privatization of state transportation, or a gas tax increase, Cohen said.
The proposals to change the tolling system are part of a broader review of the way the state pays for an estimated $19 billion transportation funding deficit over the next 20 years.
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