Maine Turnpike Authority offers first toll increase in 9 years

The Maine Turnpike Authority said it had lost $ 60 million in toll revenue due to the pandemic and wanted users to catch up with a “toll adjustment” in the fall.

The proposal includes increasing the cash toll at York Toll Plaza from $ 3 to $ 4 and increasing the current Maine E-ZPass per mile fare from 7.7 cents to 8.0 cents. Tolls have not increased on the 300-mile toll highway in nine years.

“Recently, traffic on the Maine Turnpike has recovered and is approaching pre-pandemic levels,” Executive Director Peter Mills said in a statement. “However, the loss of income during the pandemic combined with new bond constraints make it impossible to realize future investment plans without increasing tolls or adjusting discounts.”

The Turnpike Authority said it was continuing its plans despite the shortfall by raising $ 106 million in reserve funds.

71% of the increase will be paid by out-of-state users, according to MTA officials.

Other proposed increases include:

  • Adjust the Class 1 personal volume discount thresholds from a 25% discount to a 20% discount for Maine E-ZPass users making 30 or more trips per month and a 50% to 40% discount for Maine E-ZPass users making 40 or more trips per month.
  • Limit or eliminate image tolls (I tolls) that count for the discount on the personal class 1 volume. I-tolls are created when an E-ZPass transponder is not present or is not read on a valid Maine E-ZPass account.

Three public hearings will be held on the toll increase: Tuesday, August 3 at 6 p.m. at the Turnpike maintenance facility in York; Wednesday August 4 at 6 p.m. at the Ramada Inn in Saco; and Thursday August 5 at 6 p.m. at the Ramada Inn in Lewiston.

The August 4 meeting will also allow for online commentary.

New Hampshire and Massachusetts tolls have not increased tolls due to the pandemic. The New York Thruway, Pennsylvania Turnpike, New Jersey Turnpike, and Garden State Parkway have all increased tolls in the past year.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at [email protected] or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

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