October 21, 2019
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Comments for: Tolls too much: Auburn crowd gives Turnpike Authority an earful over proposed hikes

  • Anonymous

    Perhaps taking away the retirement pay and benefits for Paul Violette could help to pay the extra–oh, and maybe if he would have to pay back what he stole?

    • Anonymous

      that would make too much sense.

  • Anonymous

    I have no faith in the Turnpike Authority or their handling of this situation. As an organization with a long history of corruption and bribery, it’s no surprise that they did no forecasting when taking out bonds to pay for massive pet projects and  ‘improvements’. Anyone who wants to raise tolls to $3 at a time when most people are only making $7 an hour is out of touch with average Mainers and should be thrown off the MTA board.

    • Anonymous

      hey, someone’s  gotta pay for violette’s pension.

      Why do we need the tolls? The MTA should just be folded into DOT like 295.

      like the gardiner tolls, 1.00 to travel a small stretch of “turnpike” between gardiner and augusta? what a ripoff.

      • Anonymous

        i’m all in favor of those that use the road the most paying the most to maintain it.  Tolls are a fair way to pay for a highway or large bridge.

        If the DOT took over the turnpike and took over operating it the state would need to issue bonds to come up with the $400+ million it would take to pay off the MTA’s bonds.   The state has a lower credit rating than the MTA and would likely get stuck with a higher interest rate.  Then they would need to increase the DOT budget to include this new maintenance burden, which would likely mean a a rise in gas-taxes. 

        Having the DOT take over the turnpike won’t solve much of anything, and the road will probably be in worse shape.

        • Anonymous

           Yes an you raise gas fuel  taxes an every thing you buy will go up even the cost of building a new house an even the person that mows your lawn 

          • Anonymous

            do you realize how much money the turnpike brings in through tolls?

            just imagine for a minute that on average, let’s just say that they get 100 cars/minute that go through the tolls collectively.
            now let’s just say that those cars each pay 1.50 (averages here)
            100 x 1.50 = 150
            that’s per minute.
            150.0 x 60 (minutes) = 9,000 / hour
            x 24 hours = 216,000
            x 365 = 78,840,000

            78 million, based on extremely low averages!

            you’re saying that with 78 million extra dollars floating around that they’ d have to raise taxes?
            I call bs on that one.

            also, for high traffic days such as memorial day weekend they usually expect over 500,000 travellers to come into and out of the state.

            on the assumption that those 500,000 travellers use the turnpike both in and out of maine, they can expect to pay at least 4 dollars in tolls each.

            That’s 2 million dollars, in 1 weekend.
            http://www.wmtw.com/news/maine/Turnpike-expects-heavy-traffic-during-holiday-weekend/-/8792012/14163190/-/hbp0kf/-/index.html 

          • Anonymous

            Tell that to the people that want to do away with tolls an have the DOT take it over

          • Anonymous

            I wouldn’t do away with the tolls but i wouldn’t raise them constantly either. I think they’re a great way to pay for the upkeep of the highway, and I think it should be folded into dot. that would make sense, and would clear up bureaucracy that plagues this state’s highway system.

          • Anonymous

            Yes as long as the money from tolls went to run the turn pike

          • L A

            What if the toll rate was increased temporarily just to take care of the issue that MTA says is at hand? And what if there was a sunset or expiration for that increase and then the users see a decrease?

      • Anonymous

         violette who

  • Anonymous

    well one way would be, for the folks living in the towns that are effected by this, that town or city should drop the registration excise tax by an equal amount or more. we all know the rip off syndrome we get when we buy a new car. we get taxed on money we don’t even spend, so lets see these towns start giving some back. and another thing, why are the maine folks paying the same as a tourist? seems to me the authority could have 2 prices, one for maine residents and one for outta staters. funny how simplicity gets compicated.

  • Anonymous

    I cannot understand why the toll increases north of Portland are a higher percentage than those south of Portland.  They are the ones who use the very major expense of “the widening”, they should pay more.

  • Anonymous

    Expedite the implementation of an Open Tolling system like they have implemented in NH and every other civilized state in the country, and then we won’t have to pay life long pensions to personnel who sit in the booth and take your $.  That reduces costs, thus lowering fees.  It’s not rocket science folks.

  • Anonymous

    I understand the plight from the people of the L/A area.  However, if you commute from So. ME to NH it’s going to be $6 per day.  Yikes!  I’m sure though that the roads will be paved more than once a generation and the bridges won’t be crumbling into the water.  The widening project of the late 90’s and early 2000’s is already starting to prove shortsighted as the traffic is now near capacity of the 3 lanes most of the time. 

    PLEASE, no more hacks in charge of the MTA ripping off the rate payers and filling their own pockets!  It’s one thing to NEED the $ to operate the roads.  It’s quite another to waste it on a bunch of lackeys.

  • Hussar

    This not going to be popular, but here goes. 

     Let the Turnpike Authority go ahead and default on its bonds, and declare bankruptcy.  Sell off all its real estate, buildings, and equipment. While in brankruptcy it can then shed itself of its pension obligations and large union contracts.  Yes the creditors would now own the Maine Turnpike.  However, they could operate it like a private company (i.e., more efficiently, economically, and for a profit). 

    Then the market would decide on the tolls that should be charged instead of a bunch of crony capitalists in Augusta.  If the new private owners raised tolls too high no one would use the turnpike and they would lose money.  If the tolls were too low, then they would not have enough cash flow to maintain the turnpike and they again would lose money because no one would drive on a poor road.  

    In short, I do not believe the state taking over the turnpike is the solution–it is actually the problem.  The Turnpike Board Directors have no incentive to be innovative,  knowing the state of Maine and the taxpayers will bail them out (as alluded to by the obtuse board of directors member who seeks the state taking over the payments of the bonds).

    • Guest

      Except that there is no competitive alternative other than using secondary roads and that ain’t gonna happen.

  • Guest

    From Augusta to Kittery is 105 miles with a current total of $5.75 worth of tolls. (depending which way you go)

    From the 495 to 90 interchange in MA, to the NY border on the MA turnpike is 150 miles, yet only$2.10 worth of tolls.

    In fact you can drive north from NY city to Albany NY, 150 miles, and pay only slightly more than you would in Maine. ($7.10)

    It’s obvious that it’s just the Turnpike Authority price gouging Mainers and anyone visiting.

    • Anonymous

      It’s all relative… Philadelphia to Pittsburgh on the PA turnpike will run almost $24.00!  That is about the same as Bangor to Kittery.   Chicago area?  There is a $1-2 every few miles.

      • Guest

        Philly and Chicago are much more populated areas.

  • Anonymous

    LA residents complain when they get to ride the pike for free between Lewiston & Auburn and as far north as Sabattus.  Yet, down Portland way there is no free ride when it comes to the pike or for those of us up in Disgusta who drive a short 6 mile section to get to 295.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah because Lewiston-Auburn residents use the turnpike to go to Sabattus all the time, just like they use it to drive between eachother. Notice the sarcasim there? As I have said before going between the Lewiston-Auburn-Sabattus makes no sense and very few people actually do this because it takes longer then if you just drove the “secondary” routes. Most people in Lewiston-Auburn work and live within the downtowns of either city. Why would they extend a quick 3 (could even be less) mile drive across the Bernard Lown Peace Bridge, Longley Bridge or Vietnam Veteran’s Bridge to a probable 10-13 mile drive? Both exits are on the outskirts of both cities so there is roughly 2-3 miles to get to the exit in Lewiston and 3-4 for the exit in Auburn not to mention the 5 miles in between the exits. I assume you never have actually driven this route so feel free to do so and tell me if it is plausible for Lewiston-Auburn residents to use the turnpike to drive between eachother. I am sure that those in Lewiston-Auburn-Sabattus would love to only pay a dollar to get on the Turnpike (without the current toll barrier in Gray) $2 dollar ride compared to the $4.50 that they are currently paying. So feel free to persuade those at MTA to take down the Gray toll barrier and place dollar toll booths on the on ramps in Lewiston-Auburn-Sabattus, you’d be doing them a favor rather then complain how Greater Portland has to pay only a dollar to get on it. Especially when most of the residents in that area use I-295 free of charge. This coming from a guy who has lived in both regions.

      • Anonymous

         Actually, I have driven that route occasionally on business.  I have seen people get on in Sabattus ahead of me and get off in Lewiston OR Auburn.  Ditto on my return route–seen’em get on in Lewiston or Auburn and get off in Sabattus.  So, again, why are they getting a free ride?

        • Anonymous

          Coming from someone who has lived a majority of my life in that area and your “occasional” trip there, I am sure I have a vast more knowledge when it comes to how people actually commute in that region. Also, if you look at my example my main point was focusing on Lewiston-Auburn and you can quote me “As I have said before going between the Lewiston-Auburn-Sabattus makes no sense and very few people actually do this because it takes longer then if you just drove the “secondary” routes.” Did I say no one does it, no, I said VERY FEW do it. Feel free to focus on the other points next time, like putting dollar toll booths (those currently in Greater Portland) on all three exits and getting rid of the Gray toll booth, which as I stated would be very welcoming to those in the Lewiston-Auburn region over the current structure of things. Which would end your arguement about the free ride, but surely would not go over well with the MTA as they would lose $2.50 per vehicle. Also the fact that Greater Portland (Scarborough, So. Portland, Portland, Falmouth, etc..) use I-295 a large mjority of the time over I-95, so to complain about driving for free is rather hypocritical.
           
          P.S. The route I was talking about was going from one downtown to the other using the turnpike and then just using one of the “secondary” routes instead, then tell me if it makes sense.

  • Ah yes, The Maine Turnpike Authority. Democrat thievery finally taken over by Republican thievery. They certainly want their share now!

  • Anonymous

    Toll booths in Maine need to be updated…….

    • Anonymous

      Yes, we need the 65mph EzPass lanes like NH

      • Anonymous

        Totally agree..

  • Old Bear

    If everyone that drove on 95 stayed off it  for 2 months took a different route then see what happens to there revenue. Its the same way with gas prices. If this country stuck together we could put a hurting on the feds and state tax revenue per gallon that they collect. Maybe even shout them down. Let the oil companys eat there gas and oil for a week or two.

  • Anonymous

    Mills is following the t-party/repuke agenda to the letter…”privatize profits and socialize losses”

  • Wait until people get a load of the East West Highway Toll Plan, — 

    There wont be No Public Recourse to the highway Robbery there!

  • Anonymous

    Think tolls are high here. I paid over 12 euro to travel a little over an hour down the Autoroute in Spain a year ago.  

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