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View Poll Results: What do you think of congestion pricing?
Yes, it helps pay for mass transit. 5 41.67%
Yes, it gets me past traffic. 0 0%
No, it only gets used by the rich. 3 25.00%
No, it does nothing for traffic. 4 33.33%
Voters: 12. You may not vote on this poll

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Old April 8th, 2009, 06:48 PM   #321
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MA Pike issues 75 percent more toll transponders
7 April 2009

BOSTON (AP) - Giving away Fast Lane transponders has proven to be a boon to the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority, which used to charge nearly $30 for them.

Figures released Tuesday showed the authority issued 19,400 of them since Feb. 15. That's 75 percent more than were issued between mid-February and early April of 2008.

The devices deduct toll payments electronically rather than at a booth, and the authority believes making it easier to obtain them will hasten its ability to get rid of costly tolltakers.

That's not to say drivers get a free ride. In exchange for eliminating the $29.95 transponder upfront cost, the Pike instituted a 50-cent monthly usage fee.
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Old April 14th, 2009, 04:44 PM   #322
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W.Va. turnpike authority poised to increase tolls
13 April 2009

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Drivers on the West Virginia Turnpike can expect to pay higher tolls starting this summer after a Monday decision by the toll authority, though how much more won't be known until June.

The West Virginia Parkways Economic Development and Tourism Authority agreed Monday to schedule a series of public hearings preceding a June vote on the amount of the increase.

The favored option recommended by engineers WilburSmith Associates would raise tolls from $1.25 to $2 per barrier for cars and from $4.25 to $6.75 for five-axle trucks.

Motorists with E-ZPasses would pay $1.50 per barrier for a car and $5.06 for a truck.

Tolls have not increased on the 88-mile turnpike in 28 years.

The authority is facing declining revenues, increased maintenance costs and is in jeopardy of defaulting on its bonds.

It tried in 2006 to raise tolls from $1.25 to $2 per barrier for cars and from $4.25 to $7 for five-axle trucks, but a court ordered the rates rolled back after businesses alleged the authority gave the public insufficient notice of its action.

WilburSmith Associates developed 10 revenue scenarios over the next 10 years, manager Greg Barr said. Its recommendation offers the lowest increase plus the biggest discount for E-ZPass users.

While acknowledging that toll increases are unpopular, especially in the southern counties the turnpike runs through, authority members said they have no choice.

"This is an issue that has not been addressed since 1981 and we are paying a price for it," said authority member Bill Seaver.

"This isn't something we do with great fanfare," said authority member Cameron Lewis. "It's something that has to be done."

When asked about the potential toll hike, Gov. Joe Manchin told reporters Monday that "I'm OK with taking a responsible approach," and touted the discount available to state residents and regular Turnpike travelers.

"I think there's going to be basically a positive move to keep it from going defunct and into default," the governor said. "If we're ever going to take the tolls off in 2019, we've got to be able to maintain and keep, basically, the covenants of the bond."

------

Associated Press Writer Lawrence Messina contributed to this report from the statehouse.
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Old April 14th, 2009, 04:52 PM   #323
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It seems like a lot but;

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Tolls have not increased on the 88-mile turnpike in 28 years.
I believe that happens a lot in the U.S. No seasonal inflation corrections, but one big correction every dozen years.
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Old April 18th, 2009, 04:11 PM   #324
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407-ETR highway is back in the black
17 April 2009
The Toronto Star

407 International Inc., the operator of the Greater Toronto Area toll highway, has reported a net profit of $8 million for the quarter ended March 31.

The profit, reported late yesterday, reverses an $11.9 million loss for the same period last year.

Revenue fell marginally to $119.7 million from $120 million, while total trips on the 108-kilometre toll highway fell slightly year over year, likely because of the impact of the recession on truck traffic.

The company owns and operates the 407 ETR highway through Halton, Peel, York and Durham.

The consortium is owned by Spanish construction firm Cintra Concesiones de Infraestructuras de Transporte, Australia's Macquarie Infrastructure Group and Montreal-based SNC-Lavalin Inc., Canada's largest engineering and construction company.

Madrid-based Cintra is the highway-operating unit of Spanish builder Grupo Ferrovial SA.
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Old May 30th, 2009, 11:20 AM   #325
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Transportation advisory board says more study needed on whether to recommend reviving tolls
21 May 2009

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Drivers won't see tolls revived on Connecticut highways anytime soon, but officials say the issue is far from dead.

Members of the state Transportation Strategy Board on Thursday decided to postpone making a recommendation to the General Assembly, saying too many questions remain unanswered about the complicated topic and they need more time to study the options. They did not set a timeframe.

Tolls were removed from Connecticut highways and bridges in the 1980s, and the old toll booths, including those along Interstate 95, were demolished.

In recent years, though, some government officials have said electronic tolls -- collected without the need to stop at booths -- could ease congestion and potentially raise billions of dollars for the cash-strapped state.

But the idea is unpopular with many drivers. Gov. M. Jodi Rell also opposes it. Connecticut drivers already pay annual property taxes on their vehicles, and gas taxes of 25 cents per gallon on regular fuel and 43.4 cents on diesel.

Strategy board members say their recent public hearings made one thing very clear: Many drivers think the toll income will disappear into a black hole of state spending, and don't trust that it would finance highway work, commuter rail service or other promised benefits.

"Really the view seems to be, 'This is just another way to extract money from me,'" said Fred Wilms, a strategy board member from Norwalk.

Dozens of states already charge drivers to use highways, bridges, ferries or tunnels, including all of Connecticut's border states and most along the nation's Northeast corridor.

New York and Massachusetts have collected billions over the years from their lengthy turnpikes. And in Rhode Island -- which has a toll bridge over its Narragansett Bay connecting to Newport and Jamestown -- some officials have suggested adding tolls elsewhere to help that state deal with a budget crisis.
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Old May 30th, 2009, 10:43 PM   #326
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I don't like the idea of toll roads simply because I think the cost of roads should be evenly distributed across the population. Whether you live in a tiny town or a big city, those big highways and bridges do benefit you. The food you buy in the grocery store probably crossed that bridge or traveled that toll road.

I am warming to the idea of HOT lanes if they are used sparingly in only the busiest places... that way if you really are in a hurry you can pay a small price and drive more safely to get to your destination in a timely manner.

At the same time, though we have no toll roads here in Minnesota, we're the shining example of what happens when you don't adequately fund your roads. Congestion in the Twin Cities has grown faster than any city America outside of Atlanta in the past 20 years and the roads are falling apart, literally. Governors Arne Carlson and Jesse Ventura largely ignored our roads, focusing on other areas while Tim Pawlenty has been a very mixed bag: He has spent a lot of money on expanding roads, yet he appointed a lady whose main goal seemed to be to dismantle the highway system in the state and starve it of funding wherever she deemed fit.

I think a high quality, efficient means of getting you around and getting products to the market is essential in a healthy free-market economy. That means high investment by the taxpayers in roads and transit. Complaining about high taxes and starving infrastructure of maintenance and expansion is both short sighted and a knee jerk reaction and does more harm than good in the long run.

Sorry to politicize this, but it seems infrastructure funding has become a very politicized issue in recent years.
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Old May 31st, 2009, 02:59 AM   #327
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I don't see anything wrong with the toll system in Serbia. Serbian citizens pay taxes and other fees for the upkeep of roads and infrastructure that non citizens do not. Therefore, they shouldn't be paying for this twice.
Something very similar is going to be used here. You can buy a transponder to cross a new bridge if you are a resident of the province. If you are not, or choose not to buy it, you will pay almost double to use it.
Essentially, its the "same shit different package" in the end. Except that one is "discriminatory" while the other is not.
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Old May 31st, 2009, 03:33 AM   #328
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^ Just as foreigners use Serbian motorways, Serbians use foreign motorways, so what's the difference in the end?
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Old June 1st, 2009, 07:18 AM   #329
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THE NEW AIRPORT INTERCHANGE IS NOW OPEN...it is linked to Manila Skyway (toll roads)

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President Arroyo, flanked by Pasay City Rep. Antonio Roxas (left) and Public Works and Highways Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane Jr., leads a ceremonial drive through a newly constructed interchange connecting the South Luzon Expressway and the Skyway to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport terminals. Others who accompanied Mrs. Arroyo in the event were Parañaque Mayor Florencio Bernabe Jr., Reps. Roman Romulo of Pasig and Eduardo Zialcita of Parañaque, and NAIA assistant general manager Angel Atutubo.

GMA inaugurates airport interchange
Updated May 31, 2009 12:00 AM
– Marvin Sy


MANILA, Philippines - Just before leaving for South Korea yesterday, President Arroyo inaugurated a newly constructed interchange connecting the Skyway and South Luzon Expressway to the airport district in Pasay and Parañaque cities.

Before proceeding to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) terminal, the President rode the back of a pick-up truck for the ceremonial drive through the two-kilometer interchange. The construction of the interchange started in 2003 and cost P1 billion.

According to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the delay in the construction of the interchange was due to problems related to the relocation of residents where the road passed through.

DPWH undersecretary Romeo Momo said travel time from the South Luzon Expressway or Skyway to the NAIA Terminal 3 would take only 30 minutes. The toll at the new interchange is P85 for cars, jeeps and pickups and P117 for buses and bigger vehicles.

Vehicles coming from the north passing through Tramo can access the new interchange through Sales street.

Momo said the President was happy to see the completion of Package 1, 2, 3 and 4-A of the interchange. The only part left to be completed is Package 4-B.
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Old June 2nd, 2009, 10:07 PM   #330
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The nearest toll road to me (Southwest Virginia, USA) is way on the other side of the state, about 300 miles away. Since we have no toll roads, the prospect of PAYING MONEY just to use a road seems quite absurd to us, as gasoline is expensive enough at $2.35 a gallon.

However, at that toll both the toll is only $2 for a passenger car or pickup truck, $1 for a motorcycle, or $1 per axle for trucks. I expect that for those who live in areas with many toll roads it's no big deal at all - just a necessary evil, either you pay to drive on a highway, or you pay for more gas as you use secondary roads with stoplights.
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Old June 7th, 2009, 01:09 PM   #331
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Thread resurrection time.

Typical South African toll plaza - this one is the Tongaat Toll Plaza, on the N2 around 40km north of Durban.

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Old June 14th, 2009, 07:57 PM   #332
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Russia to build 1,900 km of toll roads by 2015

ST. PETERSBURG, June 13 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia will build about 1,900 kilometres of paid and high-speed roads by 2015 at the first stage of the development of a network of roads in the country.

A toll road between Moscow and St. Petersburg will become operational in 2012-2013.

First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov confirmed that most federal highways will be toll roads.

“World experience proves that this way the most effective solution,” he said, adding, “We will have to build new roads and convert the existing highways into toll ones.”

According to the Transport Ministry, about 16,000 kilometres of roads were built and modernised in Russia in 2002-2007, including 2,000 kilometres of federal roads.

Twenty-two thousand federal and 72,000 regional roads were repaired.
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Old June 25th, 2009, 07:05 AM   #333
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Mass. Turnpike delays meeting as toll hike looms
24 June 2009

BOSTON (AP) - With toll hikes looming, the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority has abruptly postponed a planned meeting.

Transportation Secretary James Aloisi, who chairs the Turnpike board, said Wednesday he wants to give Gov. Deval Patrick time to weigh both a transportation reform bill and a state budget now on his desk.

The budget approved by the Legislature includes a 25 percent sales tax increase that lawmakers say could help avoid the toll hike set to go into effect July 1.

Patrick has threatened to veto the sales tax hike unless lawmakers deliver three reform bills to his desk. The final bill, an ethics reform package, could be approved by lawmakers on Thursday.

Aloisi said it was "prudent" to postpone the Turnpike's Thursday meeting until Monday.
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Old June 25th, 2009, 09:46 AM   #334
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Since we have no toll roads, the prospect of PAYING MONEY just to use a road seems quite absurd to us, as gasoline is expensive enough at $2.35 a gallon.
I don't find it absurd, and I also live in a area with no toll roads. You pay for all the "free" highways through taxes already. The highways with tolls are the ones that don't have taxpayer money (although not always, because of federal funding), so you end up paying money regardless.

Personally, I actually would like tolls to come back here (would love them to put them literally near the state lines) because every time you leave Connecticut, you end up paying tolls almost in all directions, while out of staters drive and ruin our roads for free...
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Old June 29th, 2009, 05:32 PM   #335
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Mass. toll hike to be eliminated as Gov. Patrick signs state budget that boosts sales tax
29 June 2009

BOSTON (AP) - The Massachusetts Turnpike Authority is expected to eliminate a planned toll hike hours before Gov. Deval Patrick signs a state budget that includes a 25 percent hike in the state sales tax.

The Turnpike board is expected to meet Monday morning and vote to eliminate the toll hike set to take effect July 1.

Patrick is scheduled to sign the $27.4 billion spending plan Monday afternoon in his Statehouse office.

The budget makes steep cuts to service and slashes aid to cities and towns.

It also includes the biggest broad-based tax increase in two decades -- a measure that would increase the state sales tax from 5 percent to 6.25 percent.

The tax hike will also help the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority close a $160 million budget gap.
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Old July 2nd, 2009, 05:52 PM   #336
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Mass. Turnpike workers cruise toll free
2 July 2009

BOSTON (AP) - Hundreds of current and retired Massachusetts Turnpike Authority workers pass through the toll road without paying even as the agency struggles under growing debt.

The Boston Herald reported Thursday that 849 of 1,300 Turnpike employees and 232 retired workers have been given special Fast Lane transponders as a perk.

Board member Mary Connaughton says it's unfair for people to ride toll free as taxpayers brace for a 25 percent sales tax hike to help the agency pay off its debt.

Spokesman Adam Hurtubise says the Turnpike is reviewing the practice as it prepares for integration into a new Massachusetts Department of Transportation on Nov. 1.

Last month, Gov. Deval Patrick signed a bill to eliminate the Turnpike authority and consolidate nearly all other state transportation functions under the department.
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Old July 4th, 2009, 03:36 AM   #337
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I don't find it absurd, and I also live in a area with no toll roads. You pay for all the "free" highways through taxes already. The highways with tolls are the ones that don't have taxpayer money (although not always, because of federal funding), so you end up paying money regardless.

Personally, I actually would like tolls to come back here (would love them to put them literally near the state lines) because every time you leave Connecticut, you end up paying tolls almost in all directions, while out of staters drive and ruin our roads for free...
exactly. gas costs so much more in ct because we pay the extra tax for supporting the infrastructures, where other states found these funds from toll.

i agree to have toll back in connecticut as well, since CT is so small and cross state drivers don't even have to stop for gas. it ends up only the CT residents to pay entirely for the infrastructures that everyone uses. unfortunately, the state legislators just recently turned down the proposal to further look into re-tolling the interstates, and even just charging cross-state traffic, but free travelling within the state. the recent study shows if CT only charges cross-state traffic, the gas tax can be significantly reduced. people were still afraid of the old i-95 stratford toll plaza tragedy to happen again.

but technology these days don't even need to have vehicles physically slow down to charge. with electronic toll pricing, drivers can travel at 75 mph through the sensor and still be charged. just look at the jersey turnpike.
on the other hands, people say it would require everyone to have a ezpass.
but the toronto 407 toll road can charge people from taking a picture of the license, and then send the drivers the bill with additional administrative cost.

people complaint too much about the high gas tax, but then they are too reluctant to accept solution. but to be fair, even without any toll on the highway, ConnDOT is doing a fairly good job to keeping them up and the state roads are in better shape than other states.
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Old July 4th, 2009, 08:46 AM   #338
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W.Va. Turnpike board votes to increase tolls despite protests of residents living along route
1 July 2009

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Travel on the West Virginia Turnpike will become more expensive next month because the highway's governing board voted Wednesday to increase tolls for passenger cars and large trucks for the first time in decades.

The Parkways, Economic Development and Tourism Authority voted unanimously to raise tolls along the 88-mile highway for passenger vehicles from $1.25 to $2 and for large trucks from $4.25 to $6.75. Tolls have not increased since 1981, turnpike officials said.

The cost of a trip from Princeton to Charleston and back will be $12 for a passenger car starting Aug. 1, instead of the current cost of $7.50.

However, the authority also approved steep discounts for people who buy West Virginia E-Z Pass commuter passes. By paying a $5 annual fee for the E-Z Pass, passenger cars will pay $1.30 per toll, and large trucks will pay $5.40. Trucks with electronic commuter passes from other states will pay $5.87.

The authority's vote came after months of public hearings and even legislative debate. Residents and lawmakers from the counties along the highway say the toll is discriminatory.

Board members said they had no choice but to raise toll prices.

"I don't think there's a member of this board who wants to increase this, but we have a responsibility," authority member Cam Lewis said.

That's because the turnpike is facing about $350 million in deferred maintenance costs and it needs about $20 million in additional revenue each year to begin meeting those costs, said general manager Greg Barr.

Tolls are the only way to generate the money, Barr said.

Gov. Joe Manchin called the new toll plan "a responsible decision that gives the Authority the tools they need to bring the road up to standards without overburdening the most frequent users of the highway."

Opponents of the toll increase are now weighing their options. Senate Minority Leader Don Caruth said he expects residents to keep the pressure on the authority, and Delegate Clif Moore, D-McDowell, has vowed to block the Ghent toll plaza with his car the day the increase goes into effect.

"The battle is not over at this point," Caruth said.

At the meeting, Caruth said the toll puts the counties along the road at a competitive disadvantage with other West Virginia counties.

"We're being treated as second-class citizens," the Mercer County Republican said. "We have been for a long time, but it's adding insult to injury to vote for a toll increase."

The authority was able to offer the discounts to drivers who buy E-Z Passes by changing the way it pays off the remaining bond debt on Tamarack. Essentially, the turnpike will set aside about $6.8 million, which represents the remainder of the debt on the Tamarack bonds.

By doing so, it frees up about $1.4 million a year in money that had gone to pay down the debt and interest. The board voted to apply the $1.4 million to the needed maintenance costs, enabling a more significant discount than originally planned.

Before the rate increases, West Virginia had fairly low tolls compared to other states, "though not the lowest," said Peter Samuel, Maryland-based editor of Toll Roads News, an online trade publication.

"For drivers driving the length of the turnpike and paying cash, the tolls will be about average for U.S. toll roads at 7 cents a mile," he said in an e-mail Wednesday.

Among the cheaper places to take a toll road are Oklahoma, Massachusetts, New York, Maine and New Jersey's Garden State Parkway, at about 4.3 cents per mile. West Virginia, he said, is now in the middle of the pack.

------

Associated Press Writer Vicki Smith contributed to this report.
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Old July 4th, 2009, 11:25 AM   #339
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Highway tolls are usually always more expensive on a per-mile base than gas tax and other taxes.

I drive 25.000 km per year, in fuel tax + monthly road tax, that comes down to about € 1620 per year or € 0,06 (6 cents) per kilometer. Most highway tolls in Europe are about € 0,10 per km. However, you usually do not have to pay for every highway.

In the Netherlands they want to implement a GPS based road tax, that taxes every single kilometer driven. They say it won't cost the average motorist more than now, but I do not believe that, since they're only gonna abolish the monthly road tax + registration fee, but the fuel tax, which makes up most of my expense, is gonna stay the same.

By the way, I drive on diesel. The figures are significant higher for those who drive on gasoline. (about € 2400 or € 0,096 (9.6 cents) per km).
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Old July 5th, 2009, 11:55 AM   #340
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Japan to extend discounts to weekday drivers in Aug

TOKYO, June 30 (Reuters) - Japan's government will extend highway toll discounts to several weekdays during the country's peak driving season in August in a move that is likely to boost summer gasoline sales in the world's No.3 oil consumer.

In late March, Japan introduced a 50 percent discount on highway tolls for passenger cars and motorcycles equipped with electronic toll collection (ETC) systems on weekends and national holidays, with a ceiling cost of 1,000 yen ($10) irrespective of the distance travelled.

On Tuesday, Japan's transportation ministry said it would extend the discount to the first two Thursdays and Fridays in August, which includes the nation's "obon" holidays in the middle of the month, when gasoline sales typically peak.

The government also said it plans to cut highway tolls by half for business vehicles such as buses and trucks on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays between Aug. 3 and Aug. 18, which could also increase sales of gas oil or diesel.
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