SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) -
For the past 17 years drivers have traveled through the six western Massachusetts Turnpike toll booths for free. But the years of toll-free cruising will end next week.
On Saturday, the E-Z Pass Street Team signed drivers up for transponders at the Big Y on Cooley Street in Springfield.
“[I] never had one, been meaning to for some time, but this made it so easy; no pun intended. That I couldn't resist so we got two of them,” said Paul Meunier of Springfield who signed up with his wife.
The state legislature voted for the reinstatement of the tolls back in June. Mass DOT officials say it will give the state an additional $12 million in new revenue. It’s money officials say will be invested back into western Massachusetts roads.
“I lived in Boston for a number of years. And I think a lot of the infrastructure dollars go out to Boston. So, I understand the concerns in western Massachusetts that we shouldn't be paying for that infrastructure,” said Seth Stratton of Longmeadow.
“Toll rates will range between a quarter and $1.75 depending on when you get on or off the pike. Some drivers say they are still skeptical the money will be put to good use,” said Tina Frye of Springfield on Saturday morning.
The E-Z Pass Street Team will continue sign up sessions for two more weeks. Tolls will be in place this Tuesday, October 15th.