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Keyword: tolls

Brevity: Headers | « Text »
  • Obama Highway Plan Paves Way For New Tolls Nationwide

    04/11/2015 10:06:44 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 69 replies
    The Daily Caller ^ | April 1, 2015 | Peter Fricke
    A little-noted provision of President Obama’s highway funding proposal would lift the federal prohibition against states imposing new tolls on existing interstate highways. The GROW AMERICA Act would eliminate restrictions held in place since the creation of the Federal Interstate System, according to a summary of the plan’s provisions, allowing states that receive permission from the Secretary of Transportation to toll existing Interstate highways “in order to make improvements or to manage congestion.” Since its creation in 1956, interstates have been funded primarily through fuel taxes, with tolls banned on all sections of highway built after that date, according to...
  • Reversible toll lanes on 270? Maybe

    02/27/2015 7:12:39 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 8 replies
    WTOP ^ | February 26, 2015 | Ari Ashe
    ROCKVILLE, Md. — With a new governor viewed as road-friendly in Annapolis, one Montgomery County lawmaker hopes toll lanes on Interstate 270 are a possibility. County Councilmember Roger Berliner supports converting the two High Occupancy Vehicle lanes on I-270 into reversible toll lanes. “We backed a plan six years ago with two reversible lanes. People in carpools or transit vehicles ride free; everyone else would have to pay a toll,” says Berliner. The concept would be similar to the new 95 Express Lanes in Virginia between Stafford County and Alexandria. Similar to Virginia, any project in Maryland would likely require...
  • Analysts warn that Hogan's suggested toll cuts may be unwise

    02/13/2015 8:46:06 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 13 replies
    The Baltimore Sun ^ | February 13, 2015 | Michael Dresser
    The General Assembly's policy analysts warned lawmakers Friday that Gov. Larry Hogan's suggested decreases in tolls could have a harmful effect on the maintenance and operations of the Maryland Transportation Authority's highways, bridges and tunnels. The Department of Legislative Services told a Senate budget subcommittee that too large a toll reduction could throw off the debt service ratios that allow the authority to maintain a stellar bond rating. The analysts also noted that the authority's revenue forecasts don't take into account the acknowledged need to replace a Southern Maryland bridge at a cost of $1 billion or more. In addition,...
  • Hogan taps ‘highway builder’ as transportation secretary, appoints 7 others

    01/13/2015 8:53:24 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 4 replies
    The Washington Post ^ | January 13, 2015 | John Wagner
    Maryland Gov.-elect Larry Hogan (R) announced eight more senior members of his administration Tuesday, including a new transportation secretary whom he introduced as “the best highway builder in the entire country.” Hogan’s nomination of Pete Rahn, who has held top transportation jobs in New Mexico and Missouri, comes amid great uncertainty over the future of the light-rail Purple Line in the Washington suburbs and other proposed mass-transit projects. The governor-elect has strongly signaled that he will emphasize roads over rail after he takes office Jan. 21. Hogan, who made tax cuts a rallying cry of his campaign, also pledged to...
  • Thousands of E-ZPass users clocked, but not ticketed, for speeding through Maryland tolls

    01/10/2015 9:59:17 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 26 replies
    The Baltimore Sun ^ | January 10, 2015 | Kevin Rector
    Thousands of E-ZPass users have been clocked speeding through Maryland toll facilities in recent years, prompting warnings — but not repercussions — from the Maryland Transportation Authority. lRelated Ex-mayoral aide accused of trying to help firm get camera contract The agency began recording the speed of E-ZPass drivers in 2002, though there are no signs at toll facilities indicating that speeds are being monitored. Drivers are informed in the terms and conditions of their E-ZPass contracts. Maryland law empowers the MdTA to revoke a driver's E-ZPass transponder for 60 days after a second speeding violation within a six-month period —...
  • Fabiola Santiago: As tolls rise, Florida shorts Miami

    12/16/2014 7:44:24 AM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 2 replies
    Florida News ^ | December 14, 2014 | Fabiola Santiago
    While Miami-Dade residents were strike recently with new, rare fee hikes on vital east-west arteries, Gov. Rick Scott was rewarding his farming regressive supporters with $9 million to build and urge their toll-free roads. So while down south we compensate a way, a folks adult north who minister reduction to state revenues get a giveaway ride. Poor timing? Irony? A giggle to go with a slap to a pockets of Miami-Dade’s toll-payers? The governor’s proclamation from Tallahassee was all those things — and came by approach of press releases finished with difference of regard from a prolonged register of who’s...
  • Who Has the Magic Plan to Stop the New Jersey Exodus?

    11/29/2014 10:16:01 AM PST · by SeekAndFind · 61 replies
    Pajamas Media ^ | 11/29/2014 | ROD KACKLEY
    New Jersey’s openly gay state assemblyman, who was called “numbnuts” [1] in 2012 by Gov. Chris Christie (R), thinks he can do what Christie has never been able to do, numb or not: get New Jerseyans to stay in New Jersey.Assemblyman Reed Gusciora’s (D) solution is astoundingly simple. He wants to offer state home and business owners the opportunity to slash their property taxes by 25 percent.The New Jersey Legislature would then be tasked with figuring out how to make up the difference through budget cuts.The best Christie has been able to offer is a cap on future property...
  • Low traffic on ICC prompts calls for lower tolls to ease congestion on local roads

    11/28/2014 6:07:01 AM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 28 replies
    The Washington Post ^ | November 27, 2014 | Katherine Shaver
    Welmoed Sisson’s drive between her northern Montgomery County home and her business clients across the Maryland suburbs often includes a trip on the Intercounty Connector, a toll highway with so little traffic that Sisson can’t recall ever tapping her brakes. Almost 19 miles of pavement with no one in her way. Ever. Not even at rush hour. “It’s not an empty wasteland,” said Sisson, 54, who owns a home inspection business with her husband. “But it’s certainly nowhere near the volume of the free roads in the area. . . . It’s nice, but then again, you’re paying for that...
  • Online toll roads

    11/18/2014 11:08:50 AM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 14 replies
    The Houston Chronicle ^ | November 14, 2014 | The Houston Chronicle
    Internet old-timers - those of us over age 25 - remember a time when the web was called the Information Superhighway. The debate over net neutrality has us thinking about another sort of highway: the Trans-Texas Corridor. The TTC, a proposed 4,000-mile toll road, rail and utility project, died a death of a thousand cuts in 2010. First proposed as a much-needed infrastructure investment, the well-intentioned project grew into a monstrosity of politically connected contractors, private property concerns and conspiracy theories. The biggest blow to TTC was statewide opposition to granting Spanish-owned developer Cintra a 50-year, multibillion-dollar deal to control...
  • Rick Scott's Toll Lanes Definitely Newsworthy ... but an Exposé?

    09/19/2014 12:41:14 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 13 replies
    Sunshine State News ^ | September 17, 2014 | Nancy Smith
    In August 2011 Gov. Rick Scott first made it plain he likes toll lanes on major highways and wants more of them. They speed up traffic, he said. In October 2011, PolitiFact Florida checked out his assessment, rated it "mostly true." So it was a little surprising to see the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting (FCIR), whose stated purpose is "to expose corruption, waste and miscarriages of justice," expose Scott's commitment to toll lanes. Don't get me wrong, I think it's great this news is well and truly in front of the public again. And shame on all of us...
  • Florida spends billions on toll lanes, but public has little input into how money is spent

    09/15/2014 5:01:03 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 15 replies
    The Florida Times-Union ^ | September 14, 2014 | Eric Barton
    In the next decade, Florida’s biggest cities will add toll lanes to the state’s busiest highways. Nobody knows exactly how much it will cost. Maybe as little as $3 billion. Maybe double that. What’s clear is that when the toll lanes across the state are complete, they will become one of the largest infrastructure projects in state history. There’s little debate that the toll lanes, also called express lanes or managed lanes, make commutes quicker for those willing to pay as much as $10 to use them. But there has been little debate about the need for the projects —...
  • Candidates for governor differ on I-95 tolls

    09/05/2014 10:05:02 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 14 replies
    turnto10.com ^ | September 4, 2014 | Bill Rappleye
    PROVIDENCE - Tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge were rejected by popular demand, but a proposed toll on Interstate 95 near the Connecticut border had less opposition. Any toll would need federal government approval, and Rhode Island Public Radio's Ian Donnis asked the Democrats running for governor what they thought of the idea during an NBC 10 live debate Wednesday. "Yes. I think people deserve a straightforward answer. This state should be looking in comprehensive ways," Pell said. Providence Mayor Angel Taveras said he does not support adding a toll on I-95. "It's a regressive tax that has an impact...
  • Coalition Urges Malloy, Foley To Consider Taxes, Tolls to Raise Transportation Money

    08/20/2014 12:08:04 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 15 replies
    The Hartford Courant ^ | August 19, 2014 | GREGORY B. HLADKY
    HARTFORD - A broad coalition of environmental, economic, regional and construction groups urged Connecticut's gubernatorial candidates Tuesday to conduct a debate focused on transportation issues, and to consider higher taxes and tolls to pay for the state's dire transportation needs. The activists put out a four-point program they said the state's next governor must consider, and expressed concern about the possibility that massive federal funding for highways and mass transit might dry up in the next few years. The coalition's key issues are: •Making certain that state revenue that is supposed to be devoted to transportation - such as gas...
  • House and Senate in Different Lanes on Dwindling Highway Trust Fund

    07/14/2014 7:15:08 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 19 replies
    Pajamas Media ^ | 07/14/2014 | Bill Straub
    WASHINGTON – The federal Highway Trust Fund, which contributes to road building and maintenance projects across the country, is expected to run out of money in early August, leading some states to issue plans to halt construction in case the well runs dry. The House and Senate are considering dueling packages and have not reached an agreement on how to address the fund’s impending insolvency. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has advised governors that reimbursements may slow to a trickle if the chambers can’t agree in time. Foxx told the states his department “will continue to take every possible measure to...
  • Five Reasons Not to Raise the Gas Tax

    07/05/2014 8:12:09 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 34 replies
    The Huffington Post ^ | July 3, 2014 | Randal O'Toole
    The federal Highway Trust Fund is running out of money, and some senators have proposed to fix the problem by raising gas taxes. This, however, is the wrong solution because it treats the symptom, and not the underlying reason for the shortfall. Here are five reasons for not increasing gas taxes. 1. The problem is not a shortage of funds but an excess of spending. For more than 50 years after Congress created the Highway Trust Fund in 1956 it was able to avoid a shortage of funds by a simple measure: it didn't spend more than was collected in...
  • Rethinking Federal Highway and Transit Funding

    05/20/2014 10:06:25 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 7 replies
    The Cato Institute ^ | May 6, 2014 | Chris Edwards
    Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, thank you for inviting me to testify today regarding the federal role in highway and transit funding.Federal policymakers are considering ways to close the large funding gap in the Highway Trust Fund. One option would be to reduce spending and downsize the federal role in transportation. That approach would encourage state governments to pursue their own innovative solutions for highways and transit, such as new types of user charges, public-private partnerships, and privatization.Federal aid programs for highways and transit have many shortcomings. Aid redistributes transportation funds between the states in ways that are...
  • White House Wants to Lift Ban on Interstate Tolls

    04/29/2014 6:24:18 PM PDT · by Nachum · 95 replies
    New York Times ^ | 4/29/14 | Ron Nixon
    Washington - Drivers on the nation’s Interstates could soon be paying more to travel. A transportation proposal sent to Congress by the Obama administration on Tuesday would remove a prohibition on tolls for existing Interstate highways, clearing the way for states to raise revenue on roads that drivers currently use at no cost. Congress banned tolls on Interstates in 1956 when it created the national highway system under President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The administration said lifting the toll ban would help address a shortfall in funding to pay for highway repairs. The tolls, along with other changes, could provide an
  • Replace the Gas Tax — with Tolls: A more sensible, efficient way to make sure road users pay.

    03/11/2014 7:41:11 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 44 replies
    National Review ^ | 03/11/2014 | Michael Barone
    Last month, Barack Obama traveled to snowy St. Paul, Minn., the same place where in the sunnier days of June 2008 he predicted that his clinching of the Democratic presidential nomination would be remembered as “the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and the earth began to heal.” This time in St. Paul he addressed a lesser problem, one within the ambit of a president’s powers: transportation. He mentioned the most common form of transportation — auto travel over streets and highways — only in passing. Instead, he hailed St. Paul’s “spiffy new trains,” one of...
  • Gansler supports commuter discount on ICC

    02/10/2014 10:16:51 AM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 2 replies
    The Baltimore Sun ^ | February 7, 2014 | Michael Dresser
    Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler, running for the Democratic nomination for governor, proposed Friday that the state give commuters a break on the tolls on the Intercounty Connector in the Washington suburbs. Gansler's campaign issued a statement and a video in which the candidate asserted that ICC traffic and revenue are well below projections because of high tolls. According to the Gansler camp, usage is 20 percent lower than expected and revenues are 20-45 percent below projections. The attorney general said his plan for a 50 percent discount for commuters who make at least 15 trips a month on the...
  • The Road Less Traveled

    10/01/2013 1:48:42 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 11 replies
    Bethesday Magazine ^ | September 2013 | Eugene L. Meyer
    Driven on the Intercounty Connector lately? No? You’re not alone. Many haven’t. The 18.8-mile highway—the first stretch of which opened two and a half years ago after great hype and amid great controversy—is the road less traveled. Traffic counts are well below early projections, and revenue from tolls—needed to pay off the bonds that were sold to build the road—is far less than originally anticipated. The initial estimated cost of $1 billion has ballooned to $2.4 billion—or as much as $4 billion if you include interest payments. Consequently, all tolls on Maryland highways, bridges and tunnels have been raised in...
  • Pricing recommendations for I-95 express toll lanes approved

    09/19/2013 7:49:49 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 27 replies
    The Baltimore Sun ^ | September 19, 2013 | Kevin Rector
    Rush-hour commuters could pay nearly $5 a day in tolls to travel back and forth on a seven-mile stretch of express toll lanes set to open next year along Interstate 95 east and north of Baltimore, according to proposed pricing approved Thursday by the board of the Maryland Transportation Authority. The new lanes, scheduled to open late next year, would offer a quicker travel option for commuters willing to pay. The suggested tolls vary by the time of day and the type of vehicle, but a car traveling on the toll lanes during peak hours would pay between 25 cents...
  • ‘Foreigner toll’ makes waves in German election squabble

    08/15/2013 5:35:00 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 3 replies
    EurActiv ^ | 13 August 2013
    A political proposal to impose road tolls on foreign car drivers has become a feature of the German election campaign, but the European Commission made clear yesterday (12 August) that it would not accept any measure which amounts to discrimination on the ground of nationality. EurActiv Germany contributed to this article. Horst Seehofer, head of the Christian-Social Union (CSU) which is the Bavarian sister party of (Angela) Merkel’s CDU, has been requesting for many years that road tolls be introduced for foreign car drivers, using German, or at least Bavarian roads. Over the weekend he renewed his request, adding that...
  • America’s Roads Have Been Turned Into A Revenue Generating Surveillance Grid

    05/13/2013 5:51:35 PM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 16 replies
    TEC ^ | 05/12/2013 | Michael Snyder
    What do speed traps, parking tickets, toll roads, speed cameras and red light cameras all have in common? They are all major revenue sources for state and local governments. All over America today there are state and local governments that are drowning in debt. Many have chosen to use "traffic enforcement" as a way to raise desperately needed revenue. According to the National Motorist Association, issuing speeding tickets raises somewhere between 4.5 billion and 6 billion dollars in the United States each year. And the average price of a speeding ticket just keeps going up. Today, the national average is...
  • Assembly Session 2013: prepping for the creeping lunacy (Maryland)

    01/08/2013 2:12:51 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 12 replies
    The Examiner ^ | January 7, 2013 | J. Doug Gill
    Dread. Usually not a word one associates with the New Year… well, provided one is not a glass half-empty sort. Hopeful, encouraged, positive… that sort of rot is what travels the aural circuit in the week or so following clean-slate day. But ‘round these parts – and near the nether regions of other state capitals – the newly-birthed year is greeted with a level of enthusiasm rivaled only by the anticipatory feeling derived from the possibility of a TSA cavity search. And that point of comparison is frighteningly accurate; given said cavity is the only place our local legislators have...
  • ICC users rack up unpaid tolls

    11/20/2012 1:06:40 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 5 replies
    The Washington Post ^ | November 19, 2012 | Katherine Shaver
    Nearly one in three motorists who use the Intercounty Connector without an E-ZPass transponder don’t pay the toll later, making Maryland’s newest and most expensive highway home to a toll violation rate four times higher than the state average. Individual motorists racked up as much as $1,418 each in unpaid tolls after driving on the ICC, or Route 200, as many as 430 times during the first six months of this year. A rental car company owed $4,263 in ICC toll debt, while a construction company accrued $2,241 for 65 unpaid trips during that time. The new 18.8-mile highway between...
  • Drivers ask: Where's the ICC bill?

    08/25/2012 6:33:19 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 21 replies
    WTOP ^ | August 24, 2012 | Adam Tuss
    WASHINGTON - If you drive on the InterCounty Connector in Maryland without an E- ZPass, you are supposed to be sent a bill in the mail for the toll. But some may be asking, "Where is my bill?" Several drivers tell WTOP they are surprised at how long it takes to actually receive a notification in the mail from the all-electronic toll road. ICC leaders are aware of the issue. "For a Maryland license plate, it can take more than three weeks to receive the notice. For an out of state plate, it can take longer," writes Maryland Transportation Authority...
  • Public to get more input on tolls

    06/05/2012 6:39:06 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 17 replies
    The Easton Star Democrat ^ | June 4, 2012 | Craig O'Donnell
    CHESTERTOWN The Maryland Transportation Authority, which controls tolls on highways and bridges in the state, will have to listen harder to the public next time it decides to raise prices. Legislation sponsored by Sen. E.J. Pipkin, R-36-Upper Shore, in the 2012 regular session, established a "protocol by which the Maryland Transportation Authority raises tolls ... and requires public comment throughout the process," according to a Pipkin press release. The bill passed unanimously in the Senate and the House. It was signed into law two weeks ago. At the MDTA board's September meeting, where they took a unanimous vote for an...
  • Arbitrator orders free tolls and parking perks returned to Port Authority workers

    03/25/2012 3:56:02 PM PDT · by SMGFan · 2 replies
    NJ.com ^ | March 25, 2012 | AP
    An arbitrator has ordered the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to restore toll-free passage on its bridges and tunnels and free airport parking for some retirees. The benefits were pulled more than a year ago at the behest of Gov. Chris Christie, who was critical of the perks given to nonunion employees. On Tuesday, an arbitrator restored them for the agency’s retired electrical workers. It’s unclear whether the decision will impact other lawsuits by retirees who also lost the perks. In its ruling, obtained by The Record, the arbitrator also ordered the agency to reimbursement the retirees...
  • State looks at all-electronic toll collection

    03/14/2012 6:40:50 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 24 replies
    The Baltimore Sun ^ | March 13, 2012 | Candus Thomson
    Maryland may eventually do away with tollbooths on the state's highways, bridges and tunnels and switch to electronic toll collection. A preliminary report by the Maryland Transportation Authority concluded that converting its seven toll plazas is feasible but would cost as much as $180 million. Transportation officials initiated the study as they look for long-term savings and ways to reduce travel time and increase highway safety. "It's something we're interested in doing. It's something the industry is moving toward. But it's complicated and we're in the earliest stages," said Harold Bartlett, the transportation authority's executive secretary. At least eight states...
  • Intercounty Connector traffic lighter than many expected

    02/24/2012 1:29:59 AM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 22 replies
    WJLA ^ | February 22, 2012 | John Gonzalez
    The Intercounty Connector, the new toll road that connects Gaithersburg to Laurel, was envisioned and created to alleviate the traffic headaches that have plagued local roads and the Capital Beltway for decades. While some trips for commuters have been cut in half, though, some officials and commuters have been left to wonder why the $3 billion highway looks so empty. Maryland Transit Administration officials say that the average ridership on the ICC - which is hovering around 21,000 cars per day - is exactly where they want to be. That's a stark distinction, though, from preliminary traffic and revenue studies,...
  • The T Spot: Pansi with e-toll robbery (#OWS-style rant against tolls in South Africa)

    11/15/2011 12:37:55 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 1 replies
    The New Age ^ | November 14, 2011 | Tselane Tambo
    HAIBO man, I mean really, it’s not fair. It’s not right. Haibo, angeke! (Hell no!) The thing is that we only earn so much money, and in my sector that isn’t very much at all, and we give so much of it to the tax man and the electricity man and the gas man and the pool man and the hair man and the mani-pedi man and the restaurant man and the education man and the church man and I can go on into a lot of et cetera. From whence comes this e-toll man, now? There is not space...
  • Most Maryland bridge and tunnel tolls to increase

    10/27/2011 10:14:37 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 20 replies
    WTOP ^ | October 27, 2011 | Hank Silverberg
    WASHINGTON -- The cost of traveling is going to increase next week for drivers who use certain local bridges or toll roads. Maryland is raising tolls on most tunnels and bridges starting Nov. 1, with the exception of the new Intercounty Connector (ICC). The increases will vary. For example, cash rate tolls on the Harry Nice Bridge from Maryland into Virginia will climb from $3 to $4, while the cash rate on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge will rise from $2.50 to $4. The toll increase also comes with a new system for penalizing those who don't pay. Harold Bartlett, executive...
  • Gas tax increase discussed by Senate panel (Maryland)

    09/14/2011 9:19:36 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 18 replies · 1+ views
    The Baltimore Sun ^ | September 14, 2011 | Annie Linskey and Michael Dresser
    Increases to the gas tax, vehicle registration fees and the titling tax were among the options discussed to raise transportation revenues during a lengthy Senate Budget and Taxation Committee hearing Wednesday. The panel is examining ways to increase funding by $800 million a year for road projects, an issue that's likely to be one of several budget-related priorities in the 2012 General Assembly session. The legislature will also try to take another bite out of Maryland's persistent $1 billion structural deficit. Wednesday's meeting was the third in a series of interim hearings on potential tax increases to close various budget...
  • George Will never do his research

    08/25/2011 7:15:14 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 7 replies
    The Star-Ledger ^ | August 24 , 2011 | Paul Mulshine
    Inside the Beltway, George Will is considered quite a columnist. That sure doesn't carry over when he ventures north of I-495.Why is he writing nonsense like this about Chris Christie? Taxing the rich is popular, but Christie told New Jersey: “If I let my foot off their throat on the millionaire’s tax, they’re coming after you with the gas tax.” That is, the 24-cent increase in the tax the Legislature can’t get past him. Does this guy ever do any research at all?  The Democrats have not tried to get a 24-cent-a-gallon gas tax through the Legislature.  The bill in question, A-2718, was...
  • Getting There: Myths abound when officials talk toll increases

    06/28/2011 8:28:47 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 20 replies
    The Baltimore Sun ^ | June 27, 2011 | Michael Dresser
    When Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. won election as governor in 2002, he was faced with a tricky problem. He had campaigned on a pledge to build the long-delayed Intercounty Connector in suburban Washington. The highway project would cost a fortune, far more than the state could afford out of its Transportation Trust Fund, and the Republican Ehrlich had taken a hard line against new taxes. He had to come up with some way to pay the $2.6 billion it would eventually cost. The answer? He would make it a toll road. And to give his policies a semblance of geographical...
  • Residents blast toll increase

    06/22/2011 12:40:55 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 21 replies
    The Annapolis Capital ^ | June 21, 2011 | Shantee Woodards
    For whom do the tolls toll? They toll for area motorists, who are threatening to avoid the toll plazas as the state continues to propose substantial fee hikes at its bridges and tunnels. Maryland Transportation Authority officials came to Severn River Middle School yesterday to hear how Anne Arundel County residents felt about a plan to raise $77 million by increasing the tolls at the Bay Bridge and other crossings. Passenger cars at the Bay Bridge would pay $5 by October and $8 by 2013. Vehicles with three or more axles would be paying $24 to $60 at the crossings...
  • Right Stuff: Hiking the gas tax, bridge tolls nothing short of highway robbery (Maryland)

    06/07/2011 8:24:27 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 4 replies
    The Annapolis Capital ^ | June 7, 2011 | Michael Collins
    Did you enjoy the gridlock last week? Summer traffic trying to reach the beach can lead to some pretty hairy back-ups. Pretty soon, you'll be able to pay even more for the privilege of sitting in traffic. The O'Malley administration is socializing a plan to hike the gas tax between 42 percent and 100 percent, and raise the round-trip tolls on the Harbor Tunnel, Key Bridge and Bay Bridge to $8 - regressive taxes on hard-working Maryland families. There have been news stories about crumbling infrastructure, an empty Trust Fund and the need to pay bond holders. This PR campaign...
  • Steep Toll Increases Proposed for Maryland Tunnels, Bridges

    06/03/2011 7:28:53 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 26 replies
    Essex-MiddleRiverPatch ^ | June 3, 2011 | Ron Snyder
    (UPDATE 2:06 p.m.) The Maryland Transportation Authority took one step closer toward making it dramatically more expensive to utilize state tunnels and bridges after its board formally recommended Thursday the largest toll increase in state history. Under the proposal, tolls for passenger cars on the Bay Bridge would, beginning Oct. 1, increase from $2.50 to $5 and eventually would increase to $8 on July 1, 2013. In addition, the cost for a one-way toll on the Fort McHenry Tunnel, the Harbor Tunnel and the Key Bridge would jump from $2 to $3 on Oct. 1 and then $4 on July...
  • Senate votes to drive final stake through Trans Texas Corridor

    05/22/2011 7:35:03 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 58 replies
    The Dallas Morning News ^ | May 21, 2011 | Christy Hoppe
    AUSTIN — The ceremony was brief and drew few mourners, but the Trans Texas Corridor is finally dead. The Senate unanimously passed a bill that strikes from state law any language, reference and authority once connected to the massive highway envisioned to slice a swath through Texas. The same measure already has passed the House. There are some minor differences that still need to be reconciled, but the bill is expected to go to Gov. Rick Perry, who will have to decide whether to join in the final rites for his once-prized project. Legislators did keep a provision that was...
  • [New York] 'Free' E-ZPass doled out to state workers, retirees

    03/01/2011 5:22:18 AM PST · by Oldeconomybuyer · 46 replies
    WNYT (Albany, NY) ^ | March 1, 2011 | By: Beth Wurtmann
    ALBANY - Every time you drive through that E-ZPass lane it costs you. But the Waste Watchers have learned not everyone pays. Thousands of state workers and retirees are getting a free ride. Tolls that are never collected. Money that never goes back into the Thruway budget. And the biggest perk? Retirees hired before 2005. They get a free E-ZPass for life. The Authority only tracks the use periodically. So if employees run personal errands or share the pass with friends, it represents more in uncollected tolls. "It sounds like a loosey-goosey system where the numbers aren't tracked very closely,"...
  • Highway tolls set to violate us yet again (roads and corruption in S. Africa)

    02/13/2011 2:11:33 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 9 replies
    Times Live ^ | February 13, 2011 | Pinky Khoabane
    Pinky Khoabane: There's probably nothing worse than being repeatedly violated. And frankly, that's exactly how I feel about the news that you and I will have to fork out a couple of thousand rands each month on toll fees just so that we can use Gauteng's highways: 66c per kilometre is the figure mooted. It would seem that the abuse began the moment the World Cup was announced to take place in South Africa. A bunch of unscrupulous, greedy businessmen began turning the wheels of corruption, overcharging the taxpayer billions to build roads and stadiums. The Competition Commission has uncovered...
  • Electronic Toll on Golden Gate Bridge Can Cost Tourists Hundreds

    02/02/2011 6:18:42 AM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 40 replies
    Aol Travel ^ | February 1, 2011 | Jason Cochran
    The authorities that run San Francisco's iconic Golden Gate Bridge announced that next year, they will remove the crossing's human toll takers and replace them with electronic sensors. The switch has been sold as a triumph for efficiency and traffic flow but is potential budget disaster for tourists who now risk stumbling into fines or having to pay more money for e-pass equipment. Cities and states across the world have been moving to sensor-based tolling systems, from TxTag in Texas to E-ZPass in 14 states, without regard to the burden it places on tourists who either don't understand the system,...
  • Maine Turnpike Authority: Driving Maine’s Professional Left

    02/01/2011 8:15:50 AM PST · by Atomic Vomit · 9 replies
    maine freedom forum ^ | 1/31/2011 | Sam Adolphsen
    According to OPEGA, MTA gave out a grand total of $454,238 in “sponsorships” and “donations” to many groups that have nothing to do with the mission of the MTA. Some other groups on the receiving end of this toll-payer funded spending spree: $3,255 to GrowSmart Maine, a lobbying group who’s biggest accomplishment is helping to secure $67 million in bonds for Lands for Maine’s Future and “community development.” $27,000 to the Maine Preservation Foundation that, among other things, seeks to “provide grants to educators to introduce preservation in the schools.” (It just so happens that the Executive Director of MTA,...
  • San Francisco plans tolls between Peninsula and the city (Coming Soon? congestion pricing)

    11/17/2010 10:50:26 AM PST · by NormsRevenge · 28 replies
    Mercury News ^ | 11/17/10 | Mike Rosenberg
    Peninsula residents are upset about a proposal to charge commuters $6 each weekday to enter and exit San Francisco to the south, calling the plan "a slap in the face," "a crazy idea" and "ridiculous." Already dealing with some of the nation's highest gas prices and, in some cases, hefty parking fees, drivers crossing the San Mateo County-San Francisco border would pay rush hour tolls to fund local transportation upgrades and, in theory, reduce traffic jams, under a proposal by San Francisco officials. Officials said they would spend $60 million to $100 million to set up the electronic system, coupled...
  • Confusion leads to heavy toll fines

    11/16/2010 10:15:45 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 15 replies · 1+ views
    KXAN.com ^ | November 16, 2010 | Doug Shupe
    AUSTIN (KXAN) - KXAN Austin News has uncovered dozens of cases in which unpaid tolls have turned into bills as high as tens of thousands of dollars. Toll roads first came to Central Texas four years ago. There are now a total of five tollways, including Texas Toll 130 in East Travis and Williamson counties. The bottom line is the toll bills were not paid, and they ended up becoming criminal cases. Although drivers can pay with cash at most tolls, use their TxTag or Pay by Mail as the signs say, some drivers contend the last option poses a...
  • What’s the best way to modernize our transportation?

    10/27/2010 11:10:25 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 25 replies · 1+ views
    The Christian Science Monitor ^ | October 26, 2010 | The Christian Science Monitor
    With a lagging economy, high unemployment, and aging transportation systems, Americans debate the best ways to invest in their infrastructure and stimulate economic activity – from high-speed rail and congestion pricing, to cutting pork and tapping private capital. High-speed rail is a big part of the answer During the Great Depression, businesses and governments agreed that transportation modernization was essential to restoring prosperity. The 1930s saw the emergence of the freeway (the first one opening in Los Angeles in 1940) and the airport as important modes of transportation. Together with the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act of 1956, these...
  • Solo drivers may be able to buy way onto Dallas HOV lanes

    09/01/2010 4:59:56 PM PDT · by Willie Green · 12 replies
    The Dallas Morning News ^ | Wednesday, September 01, 2010 | MICHAEL A. LINDENBERGER
    With money tight, Dallas Area Rapid Transit executives want to convert area carpool lanes to paid toll lanes, and with board approval the agency could be operating the first so-called managed lanes in North Texas by 2012. DART manages 84 miles of carpool lanes, also known as high-occupancy lanes, on area highways. It's a fast-growing and sometimes controversial network that regional transportation officials routinely praise for boosting carpools, reducing traffic and improving air quality. Now, DART officials say the lanes could be used more often if solo drivers were given the right to buy their way into the lanes in...
  • Wolf: Dulles Greenway tolls 'highway robbery'

    07/29/2010 3:38:56 PM PDT · by Willie Green · 36 replies · 2+ views
    WTOP ^ | Thursday, July 29, 2010 | WTOP
    WASHINGTON - Anybody who uses the Dulles Greenway can tell you his commute is a costly one. Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., wants to change that. Wolf wrote a letter to Virginia Transportation Secretary Sean Connaughton, urging Connaughton to support state legislation to roll back the tolls along the Dulles Greenway. "I have said it before and will say it again, this is highway robbery," Wolf said. "The Greenway is perhaps the most expensive toll road per mile in the country. This is a quality of life issue for those people living along the Greenway or who use it on a...
  • Pennsylvania Turnpike to become nation's costliest toll road

    07/17/2010 8:56:06 AM PDT · by Willie Green · 94 replies · 1+ views
    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ^ | Friday July 16, 2010 | Jon Schmitz
    E-ZPass customers will get price break over those paying cashA toll increase on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in January likely will make it the most expensive long toll road in the nation. The turnpike commission on Wednesday approved a 3 percent increase for users of E-ZPass electronic fare collection and 10 percent for cash customers, effective Jan. 2. That will raise the cash cost of driving the turnpike to 8.5 cents per mile, highest of the 11 U.S. toll roads of 100 miles or longer. Currently, the Pennsylvania and New Jersey turnpikes are tied at 7.7 cents per mile. Shorter toll...
  • 8-lane bridge seems dead-end idea

    06/26/2010 2:47:25 PM PDT · by Willie Green · 43 replies
    The Columbian ^ | Saturday, June 26, 2010 | Erik Robinson
    Engineers’ assessment is that traffic will require more capacity by 2030PORTLAND — An eight-lane bridge across the Columbia River would be too small to accommodate future traffic demand unless there is a major increase in the number of drivers deciding to take the bus or avoiding rush hour altogether, according to an engineering firm hired by the city of Portland to consider a smaller Interstate 5 bridge. Concerned about the mammoth size of the 10-lane Columbia River Crossing currently being proposed, the city wanted to look at a slimmer version. The engineering firm delivered its assessment Friday during a meeting...