Highway Commissioner Tinlin reports good progress on the transition to electronic tolling on the Mass Pike.
This is a great project and will have huge benefits.
- First status report.
- Second status report.
- Third status report (11/8)
- Fourth status report (11/14)
- Fifth status report (12/5)
Public Informational Meeting scheduled
Wednesday , January 18th, 6:30 – 8:30PM
WGBH – Yawkey Theater, One Guest Street, Brighton
Plaza Focus: Weston, Allston/Brighton, Ted Williams Tunnel (Snow date: January 26th)
View full meeting schedule here.
I am appalled by this initiative. The one comforting thing for me on the dangerous frenetic highways many of us traverse are the toll booths. We all have to slow down and face a human being who has the potential to glance inside a car, hear noises and smell fumes emanating from the vehicle. I know that almost everything can be hidden, camouflaged, muffled, or silenced but the potential of discovery adds a layer of oversight and control which is critical. I oppose anything that allows for a faster ride. Already, I often feel that I am standing still in traffic as I abide by the 40 mph speed limit on Storrow Drive and the 55/65 mph limit on the Mass Pike and interstate highways, as most vehicles pass me at much faster speeds. I beg officials to preserve contact points and bottlenecks at toll booths to preserve some level of control.
You are right to be concerned about speeding, Lorraine, and the loss of human contact is sad.
But the accidents that occur at toll booths, and the lost time, and also the pollution associated with waiting at booths are not good things.
On balance, I believe this project is very beneficial.
One thing is for sure. There is no turning back now.
Are there protections in the law against price-gouging by rental car companies? In the past I have been able to rent a car at Logan and opt out of the transponder, by paying cash at all tolls. That will not be an option under this initiative, and the existing option to create an online EZ Pass account and add/delete car-plate numbers is just plain unworkable on so many levels.
Car rental companies should be required to pass through toll collection amounts at no profit to themselves or to third-party transponder companies. Their current practices are shameful.
Interesting point, Rich.
We’ll look into it.
Having looked into this further, it does appear to be a real issue, possibly meriting legislative action. Will examine the possibility of that.
See this Boston Globe story — does not offer any good news.
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