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Mass. Transportation Secretary Explains Electronic Toll Taking

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) – If you drive the Massachusetts Turnpike, you may not have to pay toll takers if Governor Patrick has his way.

It’s called Electronic Toll Taking.

Governor Patrick is moving forward with the new system.

Massachusetts Transportation Secretary Richard Davey explains how the new system will work.

“Electronic Tolling is literally converting to a system whereby there are no longer any toll collectors and it would be done electronically so you’d pay at the speed you go and wouldn’t have to slow down,” says Secretary Davey.

Drivers we spoke with had mixed reviews on the system that would eliminate toll takers,” I think it would be perfect, it’s a lot easier to go through, eliminate the traffic” says one man who didn’t want to be identified.

Vic Thomas of Chicopee is opposed to the new system. “I don’t think that’s a good idea, I think everybody needs jobs,” says Thomas.

Secretary Davey says the state can afford the new system despite an estimated cost of $100 million for taking down existing toll booths and reconfiguring on and off ramps. “It would pay for itself in two to three years, from that perspective it’s a no brainer,” says Davey.

The Teamsters Union did not return our call for comment.

Under the new system, existing E-Z Pass transponders could be used for paying tolls as they are now.

If you don’t have a transponder, then a camera would take a picture of your license plate and you’d be mailed a bill.

The Electronic Tolling System could be up and running in two to three years.

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