Saturday, 2:15 PM
Patrick asks for 'full accounting' for Pike toll mess
By Globe Staff
After a shortage of toll takers led to major backups Easter Sunday on the Massachusetts Turnpike, Governor Deval Patrick is asking for a "full accounting" from the head of the Turnpike Authority, including a determination of whether any disciplinary action should be taken, the governor's office said today.
Patrick and Transportation Secretary James Aloisi have also asked turnpike chief Alan LeBovidge to develop and implement plans to alleviate traffic congestion on future high-traffic weekends, governor's spokesman Kyle Sullivan said in a statement.
At the same time, Sullivan said, Patrick "appreciates the work Alan LeBovidge has done in cutting waste and inefficiencies" at the authority, while also "managing through tremendous financial burdens brought on by decades of mismanagement and flawed leadership."
Easter weekend traffic jams that backed up as far as seven miles along the Turnpike were the direct result of state officials declining to pay extra toll takers to work overtime shifts, the Globe reported today. And LeBovidge said the authority would not soon change its overtime policy, raising the specter of more delays on a highway that is costing drivers more and more.
LeBovidge told the Globe that the tie-ups were the result of a new policy aimed at reducing overtime among toll collectors, and of not enough drivers owning Fast Lane electronic toll transponders.