P. Mills: Getting there will get easier

On April 1, the Maine Turnpike Authority will open its first Open Road Tolling facility in New Gloucester. This new technology allows vehicles with E-ZPass to pay tolls at highway speeds of 65 mph.

Motorists without E-ZPass may still pay cash by stopping at a conventional booth.

The new technology will save customers time and money and changes how tolls are collected.

When approaching the new plaza, motorists should follow these instructions:

Those with E-ZPass should stay in the left lane and proceed under the electronic tolling equipment at highway speed.

Motorists paying cash should stay in the right lane, slow down when approaching the plaza and stop to pay the toll. Leaving the plaza is the same as entering the highway from an entrance ramp. Through-traffic has the right of way; yield and merge safely back into traffic on the highway.

Motorists who do not have E-ZPass and mistakenly go through the highway speed lane should not stop. There is no place to pay the toll. They should contact the MTA by phone at 1-888-MTA-PASS or online at www.maineturnpike.com. They can make arrangements to pay promptly in order to avoid receiving a violation notice and possible extra fees.

Open Road Tolling is a great advance in toll collection. It is convenient, efficient, and better for the environment. This new toll facility will save on fuel and air emissions and will reduce wear and tear on brakes, transmissions and equipment — not only for trucks but for all vehicles.

Peter Mills, Portland, executive director, Maine Turnpike Authority

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Comments

Jason Theriault's picture

Nice - now we can be gouged at highway speed.

As a commuter who has seen his turnpike bill more than double since the rate increase, I salute your efforts to f*** us at high speeds.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Now that they've gotten away

Now that they've gotten away with this mugging, what's to stop them from coming up with the next one?

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Mills' explanation of how

Mills' explanation of how people paying at the toll booth should attempt to blend in with the high speed traffic which will now be exacerbated by those cars going though the EZ Pass lane at 65 mph (read 75 mph), presents a compelling argument for having ambulances on standby at the toll plazas, both North and Southbound.

I'm a bit concerned about that too

While they were constructing it, I thought "surely they're going to widen it out so there are two lanes going in to the toll booths. But no, no they're not, and they're not leaving a lot of room for cars to switch lanes at the last moment. There is as much danger of accidents going in to the toll are as there will be merging back in after (picturing many future SJ photos showing cars crushed on wall at the entry going both directions).

I love getting a fast lane, but on the whole, this one is very poorly conceived and executed in design.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Your grasp of the situation

Your grasp of the situation is precise.

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