Our friends at the PA Turnpike Commission have come up with a revised plan to convert Interstate 80 into a toll road. Now that the plan to LEASE the Turnpike to foreigners has stalled, the plan to put tolls on I-80 is once again picking up speed.
Of course, the federal government still has to give the OK, and it's scheduled to get a look at the new and theoretically improved plan sometime next month. You can read about it HERE and HERE (the official news release). If you go to the website for the PTC you can also read plenty of news releases about how the Turnpike peeps feel that leasing the Turnpike is a bad, bad idea. In their humble opinion, it's a much better idea to let the Turnpike lease I-80 and turn it into the Turnpike II.
Here are the highlights of the PTC's plan:
- Build up to ten toll booths about 30 or 40 miles apart;
- Put lots of exits in between the toll booths so that local drivers will not have to pay;
- There will be no one actually collecting tolls along the highway;
- Tolls will be paid through EZ Pass;
- For drivers who don't have EZ Pass, well, the Turnpike knows where you live; the bill is in the mail;
- All that toll money will be used to make I-80 the best road ever, the kind of road that toll-paying drivers deserve (like the current Turnpike??? Hey, I'm just askin').
If all goes as planned, I-80 through Pennsylvania will be a toll road by the summer of 2010. But, that road goes through Washington, and we all know what traffic is like on Capitol Hill.