Maine’s Governor Paul LePage says that he would like to eliminate all but one tollbooth in the state and cut out most of the state’s tolls.
At a town hall meeting last night in Gotham, LePage told his constituents that his plan to eliminate most tolls could be accomplished by merging the Maine Turnpike Authority with the state’s Department of Transportation. This way, the DOT would be in charge of maintaining the roadway on the Maine Turnpike.
Governor LePage’s plan would eliminate all tollbooths except for the one in Kittery. That tollbooth would mainly collect toll money from tourists during the summer months, according to LePage.
The Maine DOT is in support of the Governor’s plan.
LePage’s motivation for wanting to remove the tolls apparently stems from his childhood, when he remembers that the Maine Turnpike Authority promised to eliminate tolls once the turnpike was paid for.
LePage says that it could take as long as a decade to remove the tolls from the Maine Turnpike.
Critics of the idea to remove the tolls note that the Maine DOT would be taking on $385 million in Maine Turnpike Authority debt if the entities merged. Others say that Maine DOT’s resources are already spread thin without having to maintain the 100+ miles of Turnpike roadway.