GREENWICH, Conn. (CBSNewYork) – More fees could be coming to drivers in the Tri-state area – this time it’s Connecticut that may give commuters a pain in the wallet.
Gov. Ned Lamont and lawmakers there are now looking to toll state highways, giving many drivers a new source of road rage.
“Between all the taxes and the tolls it’s just getting ridiculous,” Mike Irace of Wethersfield said.
“It would be tough. No one likes tolls. I don’t like tolls,” Massachusetts resident Justin Kuo added.
“I actually think it’s a good idea to bring tolls back to Connecticut,” Jordan Owens of Hartford argued.
State senator Alex Bergstein introduced one of the bills being considered. Just like the controversial congestion pricing plan in New York City, it’s short on specifics but calls for electronic tolling on major highways to fund transportation infrastructure projects.
“It really is the most common sense solution to what is actually a crisis in Connecticut. We’re the only state on the east coast that doesn’t have tolls. We also have the 49th worst infrastructure in the country,” Bergstein said.
Bergstein claims show tolls would generate $1 billion a year in revenue. All the details would still need to be worked out, but a study commissioned last year by the state calls for 82 cashless toll checkpoints across the state.
The senator says she’d be in favor of a four to five-cent per mile toll with discounts for Connecticut residents. Out of state drivers would pay more.
The governor spoke about it in his budget address in February.
“We foot the bill when we travel through neighboring states, it’s time out-of-state drivers do the same for Connecticut,” Gov. Lamont declared.
The proposal faces major pushback. Patrick Sasser is founder of the group “No Tolls CT” which has held numerous protests opposing the plan.
“We’re ranked the second-highest taxed state in the country. That means we are paying a lot of money to live in this state. You can’t continue to ask the residents to pay more,” Sasser argued.
Sen. Bergstein believes this will come up for a vote before the session ends in June. At this point, both sides claim momentum is in their favor.