CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) - Tolls are coming back to the Mass Pike in Western Massachusetts.
22News reveals how much it's going to cost you and how that money is going to be spent.
Depending on how often you drive on the Mass Pike, this could mean anywhere from a few bucks a year to close to close to $1000.
Drivers haven't had to pay tolls for driving on the Mass Pike between Exit 6 in Springfield and Exit 1 in West Stockbridge since 1996. Close to $200 million dollars left on the table. This newly collected toll money will be used for improving the Pike itself, ramp work and other road projects.
“The Pike is pretty beat up right now. I always wondered for years why they stopped doing that”, says Chicopee’s Glenn Tadeo.
Pioneer Valley Planning Commission Executive Director Tim Brennan told 22News the state is going to make about $13 million a year from these new tolls and that money cannot be used in the Eastern part of the state.
“The whole idea of getting the tolls back is the money does not migrate out of Western Mass it stays here”, says Brennan.
But the cost comes out of your pocket. From Exit Six in Springfield, it will cost a quarter to go to the Chicopee or West Springfield exits. 45 cents to Westfield and more than a dollar to get to the Berkshires. That's just one way. Round trip if you commute between Springfield and Westfield using the Pike, it's going to cost you around $225 a year. If you commute between Springfield and the Berkshires, it could cost you around $875 a year.
That probably won't be enough of a cost to send drivers onto back roads to avoid the tolls.
“I'll still take the Pike, convenience wise. Local roads are stop and go and there's more traffic on all the roads anyway, so you might as well take the Pike”, says Todeo.
The toll prices will kick in on October 15th.
MASSDOT is holding two public hearings on the reinstated tolls. First on Tuesday September 10th from 6pm to 9pm at Lee High School. Then on Thursday September 12th from 6pm to 9pm at the MassMutual Center in Springfield.