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BOSTON (AP) ― Gov. Deval Patrick is planning to dismantle the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority.

Two government officials briefed on the program say Patrick is preparing to unveil plans to fold Turnpike operations west of Route 128 into the Massachusetts Highway Department.

He also plans to move operations within Route 128 into the Massachusetts Port Authority.

According to the plan, tolls likely will be raised inside Route 128 to pay off debt associated with Big Dig.

Toll booths outside Route 128 will be eliminated, except at the New York and Connecticut borders.

The governor needs legislative approval for the Massport piece of the takeover, said one of the officials who, like the other, demanded anonymity to speak before Patrick's announcement.

The Turnpike's board is expected to vote on the plan -- and a possible toll hike -- on Friday.

http://wbztv.com/local/mass.pike.tolls.2.860716.html
 

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Some rumors floating around about the Transit Authority being merged with the turnpike authority... MITA - Massachusetts Interstate Transit Authority... any truth to this... ? also talks about Deval adding the Port Authority under this umbrella...??
 

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BOSTON (AP) ― ...Toll booths outside Route 128 will be eliminated, except at the New York and Connecticut borders...
Pardon me, Citizen Associated Press, but in my dotage I seem to have forgotten which interchange on Interstate Route 90, The Massachusetts Turnpike, is at the Connecticut border. Please advise. :confused:
 

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How many times have we heard this before?? Everyone since at least Swift has tried this. Tolls make $ for something somewhere, whatever that thing is it needs $ without the money the money lost from those tolls has to be replaced with either increased RMV fees (selective taxing that Romney did) or wait a Gas Tax! What a great idea! :p
 

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It's painful watching the guys from Troop E scurry about, trying to decipher which rumors have merit, and which are pure fantasy. I'd say that when you start seeing requests to transfer out of Troop E or retire, then it's definitely a done deal.
 

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It's good news for me, as a frequent pike user it would be nice to see the tolls removed west of 128, the damn pike has been paid off. It's the state's fault for dumping the Big Dig burden on the pike. Why don't they add some tolls on 93 and 95?? Why do all of the residents west of the city and even north (Tobin Bridge) have to carry the burden, but none of the South commuters? It's really a crappy situation either way, cut the tolls and eliminate the Pike Authority will mean jobs lost and just more of a financial burden elsewhere in the state.
 

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What's funny about this whole situation is Deval is trumpeting this takeover of the Turnpike like he's Superman, swooping in to take over a "mismanaged" agency. The Mass Turnpike is up to its eyeballs in debt because it was ordered to take over management of the Big Dig after decades of mismanagement by the state. The thought at the time was the Turnpike makes money hand-over-fist, lets put some fiscally responsible people in charge of the largest construction project in Mass history. But in addition to its management, the Turnpike was forced to take over 2 billion dollars in debt. Now that the debt is sinking the Turnpike, Deval proposes to shut down the revenue-generating machine Turnpike, increase what tolls are left and turn over their debt the the very solvent, stable and money-making Massport Authority. The debt doesn't go away, and now another stable entity will have to assume more than 2 billion dollars of debt. How long until Massport goes down the tubes? Deval is just shifting debt from one agency to another!

I am no particular fan of the Masspike, but I have to admit, as far as highways go, its a lot better than 495 or 93. It is well-paved, the plows run like clockwork in the Winter, and I don't think its current tolls are unreasonable (especially when compared with say, the NJ turnpike). To turn over the majority of the Turnpike to Mass Highway would turn this critical east-west link into a another crumbling, pothole strewn, 495-like road.
 

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If His Excellency is just going to selectively "cull" toll collectors, based on performance, I may have to support him. I jumped off the mainline at IC 9 on Friday. All the lanes were moving right along...except the one I was in (natch). The guy running this booth was obviously operating way outside the parameters of his brain-housing-group. The poor bastard in front of me was drawing a compressor: system overload for Mr. Collector. Clip board at the ready, writing, writing, writing. Next time I'll pack a lunch, just in case.:mad:
 

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I agree with you Killjoy. Everytime I hear about how the pike is mismanaged I can't help but to disagree with that statement/news reports. The damn pike has paid it's own debt off and was clear of it's own debt. But thanks to Assachusetts government they dumped the "Big Dig" burden on the pike. The state has continued to suck off masspike $$$ years after it's been paid. "Fears" for agencies and programs being eliminated because they rely on funding from tolls is BS. Tolls were established to pay off bonds for constructing the damn road. The some where along the way they decided to make it an ATM for the state. Unbelievable.

So they dump this huge debt on the pike, then publicize how the agency is mismanaged, that's messed up. Now they want to dump it on Massport?!? WTF. Then a year down the road when they are still struggling to pay off the debt, they'll look to fold Massport into another agency. A real smooth way to eliminate all of the quasi-state agencies and put everything into full state control.
 
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