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Turnpike Info: 877-682-9433
 

Maine Turnpike: Thinking Ahead FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 02, 2012
Erin Courtney
513-2982
ecourtney@maineturnpike.com


Turnpike Authority Board Gives Preliminary Approval to New Toll Rates

Encourages Maine Residents to Take Advantage of E-ZPass

PORTLAND, Maine – Tolls for some cash customers on the Maine Turnpike will increase between 28% and 50% under a plan given preliminary approval this morning by the Maine Turnpike Authority Board. Average rates for Maine E-ZPassusers would increase only 10%. The new toll structure is expected to increase revenue by approximately $21 million per year in order to continue a 30-year plan to maintain and rehabilitate the MTA’s network of bridges, interchanges and pavement as well as pay off existing debt. The Board is expected to make a final decision on the new toll structure during its August 16 meeting.
 
 Under the plan approved today the cash toll in York would increase from $2.00 to $3.00, the cash rates at the New Gloucester and West Gardiner mainline toll plazas will each be raised 50 cents for tolls of $2.25 and $1.75 respectively. The cost to travel northbound from Exit 19 in Wells and southbound from Exit 63 in Gray will each increase 50 cents to $1.50.  
 
Turnpike Executive Director Peter Mills stressed that paying tolls electronically with a Maine E-ZPass remains the most affordable option for Maine Turnpike users. “The answer to equity and lower tolls right now is in the E-ZPass system,” said Mills. The average rate for Maine E-ZPass users would be set at 7.4 cents per mile under the plan approved today. A full length trip from Kittery to Augusta for customers paying cash would increase from $5.00 to $7.00 under the approved plan. The same trip would cost Maine E-ZPass users $6.20, up from $4.80. Almost two-thirds of Maine Turnpike users pay electronically through E-ZPass.
 
The Turnpike held six public meetings seeking input on the proposed toll increase. Mills said any final toll increase decision will be a result of an extremely public process unparalleled in the history of the Turnpike. “We started the process with a detailed proposal including 10 different options and invited the public to comment and make suggestions,” said Mills. “The public’s input is an important part of this process.”
 
The Maine Turnpike opened in 1947 and was the second toll road built in the United States. The MTA received $101 million from tolls in 2011 and is anticipating the same in 2012. Tolls are the only source of revenue used by the Maine Turnpike Authority to maintain and operate the Turnpike as well as pay back bondholders who loan private capital to finance major reconstruction projects. No federal or state tax dollars have ever been used by the Maine Turnpike. The MTA is responsible for over 500 lane-miles of highway from Kittery to Augusta, 177 bridges, 19 interchanges, 19 toll plazas, Maine State Police Troop G, 5 service areas and 9 maintenance facilities.

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