Thursday, 4:30 PM
Turnpike board approves toll hike
By Noah Bierman, Globe Staff
The Massachusetts Turnpike Authority today gave final approval to a toll hike that will increase the cost at the Allston-Brighton and Weston toll booths by 25 cents and the Ted Williams and Sumner tunnels by 50 cents.
The toll hike, which had been scheduled for nearly a decade as part of the plan for paying off Big Dig debt, will take effect in January. The final approval came on a 3-2 vote after the board had initially moved to delay a decision to look at ways to lessen the impact on commuters from the western suburbs by increasing the cost of the tunnels. However, turnpike staff determined that there wasn't enough time to look at another option because they said there was a risk of missing deadlines established by the authority's bondholders.
"It's a sad, sad day today for toll payers," said board member Mary Connaughton, who voted against the hike.
The board gave preliminary approval to the hike on Oct. 4 and then held five public hearings.
Tolls are now $3 for cash-paying customers at the tunnels and $1 at the other two toll booths. The cost of the tunnels will increase to $3.50, and the toll booths will go up to $1.25.