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Senator Spilka to Testify on Toll Equity at Transportation Hearing

September 14, 2009

Tuesday, September15, 2009
11:00 am

Joint Committee on Transportation Hearing
Hearing Room B-1
Massachusetts State House
Boston, MA

Senator Spilka will offer testimony in support of her bill, Senate Bill 1961, An Act Relative to Freezing the Tolls.

Massachusetts Turnpike tolls provide a major source of funding for the Central Artery project – but, while commuters using the turnpike travel from east to west between Boston and Weston, the Big Dig benefits almost exclusively north-south commuters within Boston.  The tolls on the Rte 90 portion of the metropolitan highway system are seen as a tax, unfairly targeting one segment of the population for the benefit of the entire state.  Mass Pike commuters are charged every day for a roadway they don’t use, in a direction they don’t travel.

Although Governor Deval Patrick signed transportation reform into law in 2009, tolls are likely to continue to rise to meet extended payments for Big Dig financing.  The bond financing trust agreements include periodic planned increases in tolls.  In light of these increasing tolls, it is imperative to put in place a mechanism that mitigates the unfair financial burden on Mass Pike commuters.

Senate Bill 1961 is intended to minimize the cost of tolls to Mass Pike commuters. 

Senator Spilka will also testify on behalf of Senate Bill 1962, An Act to grant authority to the secretary of the executive office of transportation and public works to charge and collect tolls at the borders of the Commonwealth, which would allow Massachusetts to place tolls at the borders.


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