SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — The days of stopping to pay a toll taker on the Massachusetts Turnpike may be a thing of the past if Governor Patrick gets his way.
Chances are you’ve driven down the Mass. Pike and paid a toll taker when you got off.
If you have an E-Z Pass, you would slow down and exit in a specially designated lane.
But even with E-Z Pass lanes, toll takers remained for those without transponders.
If Governor Patrick has his way, the toll takers would be eliminated, the toll booths taken down, and a completely electronic toll taking system would go into effect.
You could use your E-Z Pass to pay, or if you don’t have an transponer, a camera would take a picture of your license plate and you’d receive a bill in the mail.
Electronic toll taking has been something the governor’s been looking at for some time now. The proposal is designed to reduce congestion at the toll booths and save the state money in the long run.
Drivers we spoke with had mixed feelings about eliminating toll takers.
“I think it would be perfect, it’s a lot easier to go through it, eliminate the traffic,” said one man who did not want his name mentioned.
Another driver, Vic Thomas of Chicopee, had concerns about the proposal. “I don’t think that’s a good idea, I think everybody needs jobs,” says Thomas.
The cost to take down toll booths and re-configure on and off ramps is estimated at $100 million.
The state says within two to three years, the cost would be paid off and the state would save about $45 million each year.