J. Mailey: Turnpike tolls are unfair

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The new Turnpike tolls have not only radically increased recently, but are also extremely unfair to many users.

For me, a round trip to and from work (exit 75 to Exit 46) will cost me a total of $4.40 per day with the EZPass. However, if I lived in Wells (about the same road miles) then I would only pay $2.50.

Why must I pay $2.20 at the New Gloucester barrier toll while those in southern Maine have no barrier toll?

Some years ago a suggestion was made to build a barrier toll in the Scarborough area for this reason, but it was defeated by the local residents who said it would be unfair.

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It is also my understanding that the Maine Turnpike Authority will now turn over to the state DOT a percentage of its gross income for state road work. This is nothing but a back door tax pushed by the Republican-led Legislature last session. If this is correct, then turnpike users are getting unfairly taxed.

The MTA has also done away with the commuter discount plan, replacing it instead with a discount after 39 trips per month; if you don’t make 39 trips then you get no discount. Most people who use the EZPass are working folks who commute for work and could use the commuter discount regardless of trips.

Turnpike users should contact their legislators. We need a system that is fair for all, regardless of where on the Turnpike you travel.

Joe Mailey, Auburn

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