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Should the State Install High-Speed Tolls on I-93?

Asked about toll fairness during a Patch live chat, Governor Deval Patrick asked a reader whether he'd support high-speed tolls. Are these a good way to share the transportation funding pain, or another money grab?

Are high-speed tolls along Interstate 93 and other highways a smart way to help fund transportation in the state? Governor Deval Patrick mentioned such a system during a Patch live chat on Thursday.

If you've gone up Interstate 95 into New Hampshire, you've seen high-speed tolling in action. The system is designed to read your EZ-Pass (new Fast Lane) transponder while you breeze by at 65 miles per hour. There's no need to slow down or squeeze though a booth, as EZ-Pass users currently do on the Mass Pike, Tobin Bridge and harbor tunnels.

The chat moved on to other topics, so no details about implementation were offered.

What do you think? Would tolls along I-93 offer some fairness to riders in Boston, MetroWest and North Shore, who all pay tolls getting into the city? Or are tolls in general a bad way to fund transportation projects in the state? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

[Editor's note: This item is posted on all Boston Patch sites.]

Chris Helms September 28, 2012 at 02:00 PM
Mayor Bloomberg in NYC says that in a perfect world, public transit would be free and we'd charge people to drive cars. I think he might be on to something there! He made the comment on his Twitter feed, http://twitter.com/MikeBloomberg
Chris Helms September 28, 2012 at 02:03 PM
Actually, I can't find the comment on Mayor Bloomberg's Twitter, but he did say it. Here's a link: http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/politics/2012/09/6537584/bloomberg-drivers-should-pay-transit-should-be-free
Sara Jacobi September 28, 2012 at 03:01 PM
Joseph, all the questions asked yesterday came directly from Patch readers. Sorry if your questions were not asked during the chat. Also, we don't allow personal attacks here, so please find a way to express your criticism of the chat in a more polite manner. Thanks!
Joseph September 28, 2012 at 03:31 PM
@Sara - Two things - 1)My question not being asked isn't the issue. The issue has to do with the types of questions asked. Nothing hard-hitting. 2)All the questions came from Patch readers and were chosen by the Patch moderator. Am I wrong with that statement? I'll assume that statement is accurate. Allow me to rephrase. The Patch, and those that assisted with choosing questions for the Live Chat with the Governor, did a less than credible job. In my opinion. The Patch choose layup questions for the Governor to answer and failed to press him on what is truly troubling this Commonwealth. The ridiculous fraud and abuse that is taking place with taxpayers dollars. As reporters/bloggers for The Patch, it seems to me The Patch would want to expose these issues, instead of turning a blind eye to it. Everyone feel better?
Sara Jacobi September 28, 2012 at 03:56 PM
Thanks for re-stating your concerns. I appreciate it! I wasn't moderating this chat so I can't comment on the types of questions that came in from readers, but in my experience with live chats, unfortunately, people tend to think the "hard hitting questions" are ones that are very biased, borderline (or completely) offensive, or ones that are too one-sided or "loaded" to even ask. I moderated the chat with Elizabeth Warren a few months ago and there were definitely topics we wanted to ask about, but the questions were coming in like, "When you aren't lying about your race, how would you create jobs?" That's not a "hard-hitting" question... But your concerns are heard, and appreciated. Personally, I'd love it to get more "tough" questions coming in (about the use of taxpayer dollars for example!) that are phrased better so that we can actually use them! There's almost a drought of these type of "tough" but also "good" questions. That's why we also ask for questions ahead of time. I hope this helps clarify the question-choosing process. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts.

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