Maine Turnpike traffic falls after toll increases

PORTLAND (AP) — Traffic on the Maine Turnpike fell by 4 percent in the first six months after tolls went up, but toll revenues increased by 16 percent during the same period.

From November 2012 when the toll hikes went into place through April, the turnpike took in $51.7 million, or $7.2 million more than the same period the previous year.

Maine Turnpike Authority Executive Director Peter Mills said enough money is now being collected — but not much more — to pay the turnpike's operating budget, maintenance and long-term debt service.

The Maine Sunday Telegram reported that traffic numbers suggest drivers are staying clear of certain parts of the turnpike to avoid paying fee increases at toll plazas. But turnpike officials said they expect those traffic drop-offs to be temporary.

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Mike Lachance's picture

And this comes as a surprise to who?

After weeks of hearing how ignorant we all were in balking at the toll increase, (right here on these comment pages) and how uninformed we were in predicting the toll increase would hinder revenue (from Mr. MTA Mouthpiece himself), and how that historical data "proved" that the toll increase would not impact use of the turnpike (from the "experts"), and how insignificant we who vowed to use the 'pike less the more the tolls went up.....



Who's the fool now? You guys are seriously deluded... and to have thought doing what you've done hadn't already reached the point of diminishing returns.... NEWSFLASH: You reached that point quite a while back.


Traffic and revenue after one year

Thursday, November 21, 2013
AUGUSTA — The Maine Turnpike Authority says it took in nearly $20 million more in toll revenues over the last year.

The figures released Thursday show that $122 million was generated between Nov. 2012 and 2013. That's up from about $102 million the year before.

The 19.3 percent increase is about what officials had projected after raising the tolls last year. They say the funds will cover the turnpike's operating budget and maintenance.

Traffic also remained flat from the previous year if not for a December 2012 with 28 inches of snow, 11 more than average, one the worst snow Februarys in history and teh 7th wettest June in record. in fact, october 2013 was the best month of the past year.

David Pinkham's picture


10%. That's what the man said over and over again. 10% increase. Lawyers must not have to take Math courses. Try 300%. I used to pay $63 per quarter, 3 months travel, no matter how many trips. Now I pay between $60 - $65 per MONTH. I have little choice. I can take 202, but it adds 15 - 20 minutes onto an already 55 minute trip. Plus the traffic is horrible. Speed trap in Winthrop. Bottleneck in Manchester. Just plain stopped in Augusta. And my toll revenue subsidizes OTHER projects, not just turnpike maintenance. I think those with a real choice will avoid the robbery. Thank you Mr. Mills for the deceit.

Jake Paris's picture

change tolls

Why don't give LA a little break and move the tolls to 295? That's where essentially all the rich people live (who have a lot more expendable income), and that would capture a lot more tourist dollars. The way it stands now, Lewiston/Auburn is basically "gated" by tolls to the North and the South.

JOHN PAINTER's picture

I avoid going to Portland now

I avoid going to Portland now more than ever because of the cost, I was shocked how quickly I burnt through $70 renewing my EZ Pass. I guess I'll stay where the Turnpike Authority wants most Mainers, off "their" road.


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