Nearly two decades after they were canceled, tolls resume this week for all cars on the westernmost section of the Massachusetts Turnpike.
Since 1996, there’ve been no tolls for passenger cars between exit 1 in West Stockbridge and exit 6 in Springfield. That free ride reverses at midnight Tuesday to help pay for road repairs and improvements.
Massachusetts Highway Administrator Frank DePaola says he expects this to bring in an extra $12 million a year.
“By statute, the toll collected on the western turnpike can only be spent on the western turnpike,” DePaola says. “[It] can’t be used to pay for anything in eastern Massachusetts or off the road.”
State lawmakers reinstated the tolls in the transportation funding bill passed this summer.
Drivers traveling that full stretch of the Mass Pike will now be billed $1.75. This change applies only to motorcycles and your standard four-wheel cars and SUVs. Larger vehicles have always had to pay the tolls on this section of the turnpike.
Photo, via Flickr, from Trevor Pritchard.