Drivers in the Worcester and Springfield areas will gain some relief from Massachusetts Turnpike tolls under an all-electronic system being tested and set to go live in October.
“This fairly modest break for people I think is going to be very well received,” said state Sen. Eric Lesser, a Longmeadow Democrat. Lesser noted that a portion of the sales tax paid by his constituents goes to the MBTA 90 miles away, and taxpayers around the state were on the hook for the massive costs of the Big Dig in Boston.
A recent presentation by Highway Administrator Tom Tinlin shows exits around the state’s second and third largest cities are free of the gantries used to automatically charge motorists for highway usage.
“Some un-tolled movements may become tolled, and vice versa, based on location of gantries vs. toll plazas,” the presentation notes.
Jacque Goddard, a spokeswoman for the state transportation department, confirmed that when the gantries go live drivers in Worcester and Springfield “can scoot on and scoot off the Mass Pike between gantries and not pay a toll.”
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