Lawmakers propose toll increase to cut down on rush hour traffic

Boston Statehouse

State lawmakers have a plan to alleviate some of the traffic coming into Boston, their proposal would increase tolls for commuters driving into town for work during peak hours.     

The so-called “congestion pricing proposal” would add an additional fee at Massachusetts tolls based on their usage during rush hour. 

The exact amount that toll prices would increase has not yet been specified.

Since routes like the MassPike and Interstate 93 receive federal funding, lawmakers face a different set of challenges when attempting to raise toll prices on those roads. 

22News spoke with the chair of the Joint Committee on Transportation who said the proposal is actually aimed at saving commuters money. 

“Congestion costs the average person who drives about $2200 a year it costs the city of Boston 18 billion dollars a year in people just sitting in traffic,” Senator Boncore said. 

Lawmakers also hope that congestion tolling will incentivize more people to take public transportation. 

So far, 40 municipalities use congestion tolling in the U.S. 
7 countries across the globe also use a similar financial model to reduce travel during peak hours. 

Opponents of the proposal say the state’s public transportation system is unreliable, and as fees continue to rise they said they are even more willing to wait in traffic.

Governor Baker vetoed a pilot program for congestion tolling last year, but lawmakers said they are optimistic that it will pass this session. 


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