Tolls in Other States Collect as Many Problems as They Do Revenue. Is that What We Want in CT?

January 23, 2018

When various people talk in favor of tolls, they commonly reference all the states around Connecticut that have tolls. I believe that as part of this discussion, we should look at other states and their tolling systems, rates, and problems.

This week, the state of New York began a toll “amnesty” to collect nearly $8 million in mail-issued tolls for drivers who cross the Tappan Zee Bridge without an EZ Pass. The amnesty allows drivers to settle their toll debt without paying the hundreds – for some thousands – of dollars in fines.

However, the fines are a key component of the New York Thruway Authority’s revenue estimate. Drivers who do not respond to bills the authority “claims” it mailed are hit with a $100 late fee for each trip. Late fees were expected to generate $13 million in 2017 and put the authority in the black. This year, they are expected to generate $16 million.

If the tolls in New York are so successful, why are exorbitant late fees necessary to come out ahead? And why is an amnesty needed less than two years after installing the tolls?

The state of Virginia may need a toll amnesty. When the I-66 congestion tolling began in December, some solo drivers were charge $30 for a one-way trip! Outrageous!

Is that the kind of congestion tolling Governor Malloy and the Democrats are proposing for Connecticut?

Don’t we pay too much to the State of Connecticut already?

And what happens when congestion pricing works so well that there aren’t enough drivers to pay the tolls? That happened in Indiana.

I’ve included links to stories about all three states’ toll issues so you can read them for yourself.

If this is what tolling looks like in other states, do we really want that here?