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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.

Dave Gray September 29, 2012 at 09:20 PM
I appreciate the sentiment, but some of your facts are a little skewed. I'll assume your contention that we went from #2 to #26 in overall tax burden is accurate, but that calculation doesn't include the massive increase in almost all fees that were put in place by Romney. Most fees doubled - or worse - and if those increases, which I consider taxes, but the calculation does not, were factored in those numbers would change dramatically. Your basic contention thoug - that we have a spending problem - I agree with. Waste is killing us.
Chuck September 29, 2012 at 09:25 PM
What's the purpose of the GAS tax, I thought it was to pay for the upkeep of the roads. I guess the politicians figure better in THEIR pockets then ours.
robert wilson September 30, 2012 at 12:10 AM
A toll on 93 would be an extrta bonus for them.
Percy September 30, 2012 at 12:39 AM
Who's me: Actually, MA is still in smack in the middle in terms of taxation as a percentage of per capita income (#22): using rankings based on absolute $$ is very misleading because per capita income varies considerably from state to state, and it's much higher in MA than in most other states.
Vincent DiRico September 30, 2012 at 12:44 PM
Thanks Einstein.
Gregory Wallace September 30, 2012 at 02:25 PM
Mikey! Way better than sales taxes income taxes Jack booted state troopers. not to mention the HIGH cost of housing. I don't have to go the RMV anymore I go to my town hall very nice people by the way. I can legally carry my gun in public. Getting my concealed permit was painless. I had one in Masshole land but it was a pain in the $$$ to get. Come and visit me Mikey I'll take you shooting. I am a buisness owner and I can tell you it is a much friendlier enviorment here than "down there"
Joe Veno September 30, 2012 at 03:02 PM
There are no monthly fees with the EZPASS Fast Lane transponders. You only get charged when you use it. You DO NOT have to buy EZPASS accounts so what are you talking about? the transponder is also free.
Gregory S Wallace September 30, 2012 at 05:03 PM
Joe, YOU have to fund it your selves with your money. If something goes wrong with the account even if it is not your fault YOU get dunned.Good luck straightening it out. This has been a common complaint ever since EZPASS was instituted in NH. There have been many MANY complaints. When there is an issue with the fees you have to go through hell to straighten it out. People have been getting billed for going through two toll booths at the same time on the same day. NOT POSSIBLE! I have gotten a free pass on several occasions while I pulled up to the cash booth. All the tolls taker said was" Go ahead you must have EZPASS." I can assure you I don't. Somebody got the bill and had to dispute it. A woman in Manchester got a bill for going through tolls in N.J. while she was bed ridden. They told her she must have let someone borrow her car. Joe there is a reason that when you go to a EZPASS office they are behind a wall of bullet proof glass. So Joe, how long have you been working there at EZPASS?
Gregory S Wallace September 30, 2012 at 06:54 PM
Mikey that's OK I understand! You would have to go through 3 tolls to get here anyway. Lets see that would come to $3.50 EACH WAY!! You probably don't have any money because you STILL live in Masshole land. Arn't tolls just the greatest thing ever? Not to mention all of the crashes they cause. Maybe someday you can escape like John Sunnunu and I did and move to the North Country with all us crazys.
Diana September 30, 2012 at 07:00 PM
Every time someone who thinks "Masshole" is funny moves to New Hampshire, the collective IQ of Massachusetts rises by half a point.
Gregory S Wallace September 30, 2012 at 07:56 PM
Diana/ Mikey you mean high IQ people like Mumbles Manino and Barney Frank neither of which shows any sign of intellect let alone being able to speak properly. Barney frank sounds like Elmer Fudd. There is of course your fine Governor Deval what a dip. Mikey your parents moved here at exactly the wrong time as many did I am sorry for them but it is not our fault. People did that to themselves thinking the value of their realestate will always go up. The real estate market when they came was at it's absurdley highest point. I could not belive what people were paying for a house now some of which are worth about 1/2 of that. Diana sorry but the Masshole moniker fits because you can't see or don't want know what is so wrong with your state. The corruption and graft that is so prevelent speaks for it self. If you were half way intellegent yourself you would get out. Anywhere but there. I think you have Stockholm syndrome. I think we got off the track a bit didn't we?
KND September 30, 2012 at 08:59 PM
To Gregory S. Does it make you feel important to mock someone's speech impediment? Maybe you should look up how to spell the mayor of Boston's name before you make fun of him also.I bet it feels real cool to be a bully! KND
Joe Veno September 30, 2012 at 10:14 PM
Gregory, Of course you have to fund it with your money. Whos money do you think you would fund it with? You seem to know a lot about a program you are not involved in. So we can all assume all your comments are hearsay. You say toll takers have let you through MANY times without an EZPASS. If this is so and I doubt it, You are breaking the law and are part of the problem. Also I do no and have not ever worked for EZPASS.
cindy September 30, 2012 at 11:16 PM
I think gregory purposely wrote it the way mumbles would sound it.lol
cindy September 30, 2012 at 11:23 PM
to Gregory S. yes this state is corrupt with many tax burdens. I've been waiting to move to NH for a few years now. taking care of my sick mom but once that's over, my house will be up for sale and i am GONE. I will have the same salary as I do in Mass if I move so no loss in that end but I pick up more on the other end with more cash in wallet.
Gregory S Wallace October 01, 2012 at 01:47 AM
joe veno, You were never very good at reading comprehension were you? You have to give them access to your money when you set up the account. Then they take it out of your account even if it's inaccurate. You have to dispute it AFTER the fact if it is inacurate which it often is. Like the poor bedridden lady in manchester who was billed toll fees in N.J. I wrote an op ed piece for the Manchester union leader back whenNH first instituted EZPASS. I did a lot of research BEFORE I wrote the article including interviews with many EZPASS victims this is not hearsay. I also found out that the CRASH rate peaks the closer you get to the tolls and tapers off again the further you get away from the tolls.This is statistical information I got from the NH dept of safety. This is true in ANY state that has tolls including EZPASS. Oh by the way in my article I called it EZCRASH because it increased the crash rate when it was instituted. Look it up Joe. Tolls Including the ones in NH are killers. Toll booth crashes are more preventable than drunk driving. All you have to do is remove them. Unless of course you are addicted to the revenue they generate. Joe you have to be a Mass state worker of somekind, tolls perhaps?
Gregory S Wallace October 01, 2012 at 02:18 AM
KND People like you are the enabler of people like Mumbles Menino ( I don't care how the moron spells his name.) Barney Frank, Gov Deval. Not to mention every other corrupt politician in your state. . Remember Billy Bulger? How about the mayor of Lawrence do you know anything about him. How many speakers of the house have gone to jail from your state? Do you know or even care? How much corruption are you willing to put up with there. I'm not trying to be a bully I am trying to point out the obvious. If you reward bad behavior you get more of the same. that Makes you an enabler. There is a reason that you have so much corruption in your state. Simply put you allow it because you don't want to deal with it. I should think you would care enough to try change things there but instead you defend the moron. That isn't a speech impediment that's stupidity.
Gregory S Wallace October 01, 2012 at 02:36 AM
Cindy, Sorry about your Mom. Been there done that. NH isn't perfect but at least we can still influence the state of events here. I work a lot in Mass and I have been asked many times if I was hiring so that person can move to NH. The problem is they can't sell their house so they would still be paying Mass income tax. Don't forget to thank Barney Frank for that. He screwed all of us. YEESH what a horrible thought!
cindy October 01, 2012 at 09:57 AM
barney frank never represented my area therefore he was never on my ballot. we can thank the folks down the southcoast for that. I bought my home 2 yrs ago. I waited for the housing bubble to burst first. When I do get to sell I will probably break even or lose just a little bit. I should gain since folks can not afford to buy in neighboring towns like cambridge and medford they can only go north or south of boston wherever is cheapest.
kevin thomas crowley October 01, 2012 at 01:22 PM
leave 93 alone.
Vincent DiRico October 01, 2012 at 04:16 PM
With all due respect, the shouting of MASSHOLEs, claims of EZPASS mob ties, claims of EZPASS billing/safety problems galore, ... you set your own IQ range for most readers. I have been using EZPASS for a number of years and have not had an issue. It seems to me NH is more addicted to tolls than MA (that is just based on the # of tolls I pay, I don't have the time nor the desire to look further into existing tolls)!
Ashley Troutman October 01, 2012 at 04:20 PM
Comments have been removed from this article due to profanity and personal attacks. Please be civil when commenting.
KND October 01, 2012 at 08:24 PM
To Paul Surette, I feel your name calling is inappropriate as is making fun of disabilities.There is no substance to continue this as I have more important things to do.KND
DaveR October 02, 2012 at 01:23 AM
No the money will be wasted. Politicians are like hogs at the trough.
Joe Veno October 02, 2012 at 06:11 PM
Good job Ashley.
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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