Showdown in Hartford as public weighs in on tolls
Officials Wednesday revealed a preliminary price point of charging drivers up to 4.4 cents per mile upon the implementation of tolls on Connecticut roadways.
Department of Transportation Commissioner Joe Giulietti announced the price during a public hearing in Hartford.
The Transportation Committee held the meeting to discuss the details of Gov. Ned Lamont's bill to bring tolls back to the state in order to fund the state's crumbling and sluggish infrastructure.
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Lamont says that the state’s clogged roads are costing Connecticut jobs from various businesses.
"They ask about gridlock," Lamont said. "They say, ‘Is this a state that's slowly getting its act together when it comes to transportation?’"
A DOT spokesperson says drivers could potentially be charged 4.4 cents per mile during peak hours and 3.5 cents per mile during off-peak hours, but that could change. Connecticut EZ-Pass users could get up to 50 percent discount, depending on how often they drive.
DOT engineers say they're looking at 52 overhead toll readers, spaced roughly 6 miles apart, across the state.
Although they say the number of tolls is negotiable.
Tolls would cover the Merritt Parkway, as well as Interstates 95, 91 and 84.
For a rush hour trip from Greenwich to Bridgeport, it would cost commuters $1.28. Connecticut EZ-Pass holders might only have to pay half of that amount.
Dozens of people signed up to testify against the tolls and will make their cases throughout the day before the committee.
Some drivers say they can't afford any more payments.
"If we increase any revenue, we should match it with spending cuts," said John Wynne of Fairfield.
Lamont says he is willing to lower the gas tax if the tolls are approved.
Lamont administration presentation to the Transportation Committee: