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Mass. Moves Closer To High Speed Tolling

By WBZ-TV Chief Correspondent Joe Shortsleeve
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BOSTON (CBS) – Tonight the state is moving ever closer to the roll out of high speed tolling. Construction is underway and WBZ-TV got exclusive access while riding in MOBILE 4. Chief Correspondent Joe Shortsleeve says it won’t be long before the toll booths on the Tobin Bridge are just a memory.

The aging toll booths and most of the people working in them will soon be gone from the Tobin Bridge, replaced by cashless technology.

“Where the toll booths are today, we actually will not be collecting tolls there,” said Secretary of Transportation Richard Davey. “Construction work will happen a little further down the bridge.”

Soon your toll will be electronically extracted from you as you leave the Tobin Bridge and enter Boston through one of two tunnels.

WBZ got exclusive access to the construction site. Red coated sticks mark the spot in the ground where the electronic toll structure will be going. It will be overhead and completed by Thanksgiving and by January the state will be testing it. The new structures will cost about two million dollars.

Davey says, “once that is done, we will begin removing the tollbooths probably on a weekend or at night so we don’t create any traffic up there.”

In an effort to get the word out about the new cashless tolling system, the state has opened a special store at the Square One Mall in Saugus. Anyone who does not already have a transponder can pick up the new smaller one there. They are free. And since Massachusetts gives them away, more than 60,000 drivers from other EZ Pass states, some which charge as much as $35 for the device, have been getting them free online from Massachusetts, to the tune of about one million dollars. The state says it is all part of making it a smoother ride for everyone.

Right now, you only pay the toll one way on the Tobin bridge but the state is considering tolls in both directions, but the fare would be cut in half.

MORE LOCAL NEWS FROM CBS BOSTON

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