A friend and I were returning from Portland recently and stopped at the Gray toll plaza to pay the toll. I decided to get the toll ready to make it easy for the driver by grabbing a one-dollar bill and some change in the car’s console.

Seeing pennies, I decided to count out 25 cents to use the loose change.

When we pulled up to pay the toll, we were surprised when the toll collector gave us back the $1.25 and told us to keep our junk. We did not realize that pennies are not U.S. currency.

The toll job looks easy enough where you’re sitting all day sticking your arm out and barely saying thank you to the customers. Yes, customers – those who pay their wages and benefit packages, including medical and retirement. If our money is not good enough for the Maine Turnpike Authority, maybe the state of Maine should look a little closer at the independent MTA.

If the MTA will pick and choose only the currency it will accept, then maybe it should get rid of the human factor who require paychecks and benefits, then install more baskets so users of the Turnpike can throw their change. The automatic sorting machines available for coins probably do not cost anything beyond the initial purchase and maybe a little maintenance once in a while, and they don’t complain or insult people.

Steven Goulet, Greene

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