Connecticut residents, especially commuters, would see significant discounts if an EZ-Pass system was to be implemented as the toll collection service if and when Connecticut authorizes tolls on its highways.
That’s according a document compiled by Connecticut Department of Transportation staff that was distributed to state lawmakers and obtained by NBC Connecticut.
“I think it’s a lot better than what was out there before,” said Rep. Joe Aresimowicz, (D – Berlin), the Speaker of the Connecticut House of Representatives.
The document lays out scenarios for tolls pricing based on being a resident, a commuter, and an out of state driver during both peak on non-peak hours. The document also laid out possible prices of common trips.
For instance, the cost of a drive from the New York State line to New Haven, would cost a driver $1.72 during off-peak times, while during peak times that ride would cost $2.16. A shorter drive of about 12 miles from Wallingford to New Haven, the document outlines, would cost $.44 during off-peak times and $.53 during peak times.
Republicans brushed off the new information, arguing that tolls is another way for Democrats in the General Assembly to achieve new revenues.
“Tolls are just part of that. They’re revenue grabs,” said Rep. Themis Klarides, (R – Derby), the top Republican in the House. “I am certainly open to a conversation if there’s a real proposal out there.”
With a Connecticut-issued EZ-Pass, drivers would save 30 percent compared to the out of state rate per-mile, and commuters would see and even larger discount of about 50 percent based on a driver taking more than 40 one way trips per month.
Democrats, pushing for tolls as a way to send more money toward improving aging infrastructure, say the document detailing toll pricing provides more credibility during the toll debate.
“It will allow us to have an honest conversation about how we’re going to fund transportation in this state, and I’m comfortable doing that,” Aresimowicz said.
The Connecticut House could vote on tolls as soon as Wednesday.