Friday, November 14, 2008

$7 Tobin/Sumner

They're CRAZY.

Seriously, this is absolutely rediculous. If you live in the South Shore, you get to use these services for free. North Shore? At least $35 a week, about $1820 a year. That's 1820 a year that could be going to the local economy. That's $1820 that could be someone's food or phone or rent. That's $1820 that may cost people their jobs, no longer able to afford to commute into the city, especially those without good access to public transportation or who work during hours that the T is not open.

The death of the Turnpike Authority couldn't happen soon enough. Don't these people get it - middle class and working class people cross these bridges and tunnels every day? I couldn't even afford to cross the Tobin with these changes, and I use it frequently. I'm going to have to go all the way to Route 95, to catch Route 93, and go without the toll. The result? The MBTA loses my $3 a trip, I have to spend more on gas and I lose about 20 minutes of my day. It's a freaking lose, lose, lose.

It's well past time for this state to dump all the tolls, or at least those that aren't on the border, and just raise the gas tax by a small sum. 5-10 cents a gallon would make up the difference and then some, so we could focus on more roads beyond Greater Boston.

Update: How many people are going to change their commutes because of this? My guess? A lot. What does that mean? More traffic on 95, where people can catch Route 93 and avoid any toll. What does that mean? More traffic on 95, where the traffic is absolutely, positively horrendous. Worse yet, it means people will use more gas, contributing more toxic fumes to the climate. This is piss poor policy for the entire state. Obviously, we need to pay for the state's highways. That's why we have a gas tax. Raise it by 5-10 cents and share this burden, solving the problem in a far more fair and affordable way.


Anonymous said...

Why is it fair to raise the gas tax and force the entire state to pay for the Big Dig Disaster? I don't use the roads and bridges that were included. Why don't we charge fair and reasonable tolls for those who use the roads involved in the project that would pay for the staggering cost? Was it $22 billion or so? Maybe $7 isn't high enough. Or better yet, maybe voters should pay attention and protest early when things just don't make sense. Weren't the original projections $2 billion with a completion date of 2 years or something equally as foolish? Just because you were in Elementary School doesn't excuse you! :)

Ryan said...

And I don't use the roads and bridges out west.

We share the burden as a society, so no one has to pay too much and no one gets away scott free. At least, that's how it is in theory. There will be people who won't be able to afford to drive with these hikes. If you want to be that selfish, good for you, but my guess is the average citizen will disagree.

The burden is not being fairly shared. North Sure and Metro West cities and towns shouldn't have to pay everything, while South Shore and others pay nothing. A small gas tax raise won't make a big impact for most families, but would save some people their livelihood.

Finally, as I've said elsewhere, I'm more than willing to make vigorous investments all across the state for infrastructure improvement. Indeed, that's already in the process of taking place. Everyone will benefit from our infrastructure, but everyone must pay into it a fair and equitable sum. Almost 2k a year to commute to work, on top of gas, is neither fair nor equitable. It's not even possible for tens of thousands who would be impacted.

Ron Newman said...

The article doesn't say the Tobin toll will be increased. However, a $7 tunnel toll and a $3 Tobin toll will cause its own problems, as traffic diverts out of the tunnel and onto the bridge.

Anonymous said...

In response to "If you want to be that selfish, good for you, but my guess is the average citizen will disagree."
Ry, My intent was not to be selfish, but to point out the Bi-Partisan Folly that got us here. Maybe most weren't paying attention or they believed this was a minor project that would be completed for a pittance. Maybe it's because the project was tackled prior to the internet becoming such an important source to bring issues containing such outrageous lies to the attention of many. Were the Big Dig proposed today, knowing what we now know, would voters and legislators rally so quickly to support it?
The Europeans got it right when they increased the gas tax to fund affordable mass transportation that is reliable, reasonably priced and runs frequently. Each time gas prices spike, we rediscover other methods.
Does anyone remember Bill Clinton proposing to raise the tax on gas some that it cost $3.00 per gallon? The tax would fluctuate so that the price would remain the same to consumers. Can you even imagine where we would be now had we done so?
There's also nothing preventing you from carpooling to reduce the cost.

Ryan said...

Ron, I've heard numerous people talk about the Tobin being included, even if it's not in the Globe article. Among those people and places was the 5 o'clock news tonight, who did say the Tobin was included.


"Ry, My intent was not to be selfish, but to point out the Bi-Partisan Folly that got us here."

Like or hate the big dig, what's done is done. Now we have to find a fair and equitable way of paying the rest of it, which is surely not the tolls.

"There's also nothing preventing you from carpooling to reduce the cost."

Sure there are. Don't have the right contacts? Schedule difficulties? A lot of people go into the city at very different times for very different purposes. Carpooling has many challenges unless you happen to know someone willing at your work who also lives nearby.

Anonymous said...

Put some tolls on the South shore roads.

Anonymous said...

Ryan you talk about a shared responsibility for infrastructure. You think it's OK for us "out West" to help you pay for a Big Dig we'll never use, and the MBTA which doesn't service us. Maybe you and I don't remember but in the not too distant past Central Mass made a huge unrequited sacrifice for Boston and the surrounding towns, read about forced evacuations of towns and displacement of people when the Quabbin resevoir was built. That was enough of Boston screwing us to last 100 years.

Anonymous said...

You don't use the roads and bridges out west, but if we took that 10 billion we could have fixed every road and bridge "outside" of 128 instead of dig a tunnel. Wouldn't that have been for the "greater good", but that wouldn't even be considered.

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