Transportation authority debate sets stage for larger battle coming on highway tolls

From Hartford Courant.

A public hearing Monday on a bill to create a state transportation authority served as a warmup for a much bigger hearing coming this week on the divisive topic of electronic highway tolls.

The state’s truckers’ association believes the authority would be a front for tolls. A key legislator said that is not the case. But the battle over tolls is expected to continue Wednesday before a large crowd at the state Capitol when a public hearing is held on the two main toll bills of the legislative session.

“I think the only reason for this bill is for tolls,” Joseph R. Sculley, executive director of the Motor Transport Association of Connecticut, said at Monday’s hearing. “I’m not exaggerating when I say that running tolls through this unaccountable, quasi-government body would be a step worse than adding tolls and running them through [the state department of transportation]. It’s not good either way. But when you set it up so that blame can be deflected … I just can’t believe that most people in the state of Connecticut would want something like that.”

Sculley said other authorities, like the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in New York, had not set good examples.

See the complete article from the Hartford Courant online.