Highway robbery on the way to work

Highway robbery on the way to work

My daily commute to Boston requires that I travel over toll roads (unless I want a much less convenient drive on secondary roads, but more on that later.) I can drive down Route 128 to the Massachusetts Turnpike, East—Toll: $1.00. Or I can drive down Route 128 to Route 93 to the Mass Turnpike, West—Toll:$1.00. Or I can drive down Route 1A, through the Ted Williams Tunnel to the MassPike, West—Toll:$4.00. Round trip is $2, $2, $5, respectively. (You only pay on the Ted Williams going west.)

That’s pretty expensive and in fact I usually drive the most expensive route because, of course, it’s the much quicker one. And I’m driving off the peak hours; if I was driving during peak, my commute would be twice as long.

Okay, that’s the price you pay for living and working north or west of Boston. (Commuters from the south of Boston have no tolls, go figure.) But now, our illustrious overlords are contemplating massive toll increases. I should point out here—as I have before—that the Massachusetts Turnpike tolls set up 40 years ago or more were to be torn down after the bonds required to pay for the construction of the road were paid off. Which they were. In the mid-80s.

But in the People’s Republic, you never kill the job. Nope, once a publicly funded program starts it must continue in perpetuity. So new bonds were taken out and now we’re paying off the massive overages on the Big Dig (not to mention overtime for all the nephews and nieces and coatholders of all those state politicians who work for the Turnpike Authority.)

So now we’re looking at tolls going from $2, $2, and $5 per day to $3.50, $3.50, and $9.50 per day! That’s an additional $1125 per year for the fastest route! Additional! (Actually the increase will worse because users of the electronic FastPass system get a small discount off the regular fare right now, but that will likely be eliminated too.)

What will I do? I’m not going to pay it if I can avoid it. When our offices move to Braintree next year, we plan to move down to the area, which will let me avoid tolls roads all together. Until then, as of January 1, I’ll just have to drive on those secondary roads: Route 128 to Route 93 to Route 16 to Route 2A to Brighton. I’m sure I won’t be alone and my entire commute will become longer and more painful. But what choice do I have? I certainly can’t afford yet higher taxes and fees if I can avoid them.

Silly liberal overlords who think that increasing taxes and tolls doesn’t affect behavior. Silly sheeplike voters who complain to one another and yet continue to vote the same corrupt tax-and-spenders into office every year.