Should the State Install High-Speed Tolls on I-93?

Asked about toll fairness during a Patch live chat, Governor Deval Patrick asked a reader whether he'd support high-speed tolls. Are these a good way to share the transportation funding pain, or another money grab?

Are high-speed tolls along Interstate 93 and other highways a smart way to help fund transportation in the state? Governor Deval Patrick mentioned such a system during a Patch live chat on Thursday.

If you've gone up Interstate 95 into New Hampshire, you've seen high-speed tolling in action. The system is designed to read your EZ-Pass (nee Fast Lane) transponder while you breeze by at 65 miles per hour. There's no need to slow down or squeeze though a booth, as EZ-Pass users currently do on the Mass Pike, Tobin Bridge and harbor tunnels.

The chat moved on to other topics, so no details about implementation were offered.

What do you think? Would tolls along I-93 offer some fairness to riders in Boston, MetroWest and North Shore, who all pay tolls getting into the city? Or are tolls in general a bad way to fund transportation projects in the state? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Marc Levine October 03, 2012 at 02:03 AM
I'm still all for the Cape Cod Canal tunnel project
Luis October 04, 2012 at 02:01 PM
Yes, everytime you commit tax evasion you should pay a toll. In fact, the toll taker should inspect your vehicle for new items you purchase and charge you sales tax.
Alex Finnegan October 05, 2012 at 01:29 AM
The Pike toll was supposedly temporary, & I forget the figure but something ridiculous like .85 cents on the dollar goes to non road funds now. It's a hard call, pike goers get a raw deal. The 495,3,93 travelers bear none of the burden. Is it fair…no. Especially since the tolls were supposed to be removed long ago. Would putting up tolls on the other roadways even things up, sure. But do we really trust the Govt with their promises on where the money will go, or how long the booths will stay there. I don't. As to the border crossing, that's going to happen everywhere. You will never stop it. If it is genuinely a big enough problem instead of fighting it MA should be thinking of ways to use it to their advantage. I.e. Lower sales tax instead of raising it. Lower it to the point where the current high gas prices make the trip up the NH a wash. There are some clever people out there with access to the figures & I'm pretty sure something could be figured out. The higher you raise sales tax the more you push people to NH, & NH is loving MA for it. Especially with such a huge border. NH is being clever about things. I could be wrong about this but I don't think the "tax evasion" claim would hold up in court for consumers or Co's. Business have to report and pay the sales tax. But the court challenge would be what right does MA have to regulate out of state commerce. Outsourcing is done in all major business in the world. Why is MA any different, because they want to?
Alex Finnegan October 05, 2012 at 01:38 AM
What is CT's sales tax rate 6.35-7% Think of all the people who would flock to MA for the typically lower gas prices and half a sales tax rate. NY too. It's just one idea but MA should be looking to use NH's strategy to it's benefit instead of stupidly raising sales tax and driving commerce elsewhere. People wouldn't bother to go to NH with a n approximately 3% sales tax, it's not worth the gas. The CT'ers and NY'ers would be coming here for the savings on sales tax AND gas and the centralized MA residents would get a break too. There are ways around most things, people are just too stupid to think about it, and when it comes to stupidity, MA is no slouch.
Vincent DiRico October 08, 2012 at 03:07 PM
yup, none better ;) http://boston.com/metrodesk/2012/10/05/holiday-frenzy-causes-mile-backup-mass-turnpike-state-police-say/SpQXU0MOWQkRQ7SdWWgBcP/story.html


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