There is no such thing as a ‘temporary’ toll

Op Ed in CT Mirror by MTAC President Joe Sculley.

Reports continue to come out about a revamped push for tolls, and reportedly this time they will be “limited” to bridges. There are claims about bridge tolls being removed once the costs of a bridge repair are paid for, which is very hard to believe. In fact, surrounding states provide evidence that claims about temporary tolls never come to fruition.

The Tobin Bridge in Boston was supposed to have its tolls removed after enough money was collected to pay off the $27 million in bonds that were issued to finance the construction. The tolls, which were only charged in the southbound direction, never came down. Now, tolls are charged in both directions on the bridge.

Tolls on the Massachusetts Turnpike were supposed to be removed in 2017 after the bonds that were issued to finance the road’s construction were paid off. The tolls are still there. They aren’t coming down.

The tolls on the New York Thruway were supposed to be removed in 1996. They are still up. Not only are they still there, the State of New York has been sending taxpayer funds to the Thruway Authority to infuse cash in order to prevent unpopular toll hikes. The reason this is necessary is because the Thruway spends its toll revenue on things that have nothing to do with the road that is tolled. So much for a “user fee.”

See the complete Op Ed online.