Toll study projects $1b in revenue for state

From the Record Journal.

House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz, D-Berlin, a strong advocate for tolls, said the report didn’t do anything to change his stance.  “Frankly, there isn’t a lot of new information here that wasn’t already out there before,” he said. “The real question that remains is what’s the best way to fund our significant transportation infrastructure needs going forward, including how to tap into the large number of out of state drivers that use our highways every day. Governor-elect Lamont has said truck tolling is a priority for him, so I expect that will be the focus of discussion when the legislature convenes.”

Critics also said the report didn’t change their view of tolls. House Minority Leader Themis Klarides, R-Derby, said the 82 gantries is too much for Connecticut, the nation’s third smallest state.

“If this doesn’t make it clear that the intention is to grab as much money as possible, I don’t know what (does),” she said. Klarides said she wants to see a full plan before deciding whether to support or oppose tolls, but she has yet to see a plan she considers reasonable.

Joe Sculley, president of the Motor Transport Association of Connecticut, said the truckers represented by his organization “remain opposed to this proposal.”

“It seems like, at the very least, this is an attempt to make this (tolling) look not as bad,” he added. In particular, Sculley questioned why rates were significantly lower than those in past studies.

During peak hours, residents with E-Z pass would pay 5.5 cents per mile, those considered frequent commuters 4.4 cents, out of state residents would pay 7.9 cents, and those paying video tolls without previously registering their license plate for collection 11.8 cents per mile.

During off-peak hours, rates would drop to 4.4 cents per mile for residents, 6.3 cents for out-of-state residents, and 9.4 cents for those paying by video toll without registering.

See the complete article from the Record Journal online.