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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Like the Green Line on wheels

Attorney Jan Schlichtmann certainly knows how to get attention for his cases.

It's been intuitively obvious for years that the bulk of the drivers who use the Big Dig don't pay for it -- the tolls are levied on traffic coming from the west on the turnpike and the Ted Williams Tunnel while the heaviest volume comes from the north and south.

Now here comes Schlictmann with a study that attempts to quantify that inequity, suggesting that only about 46 percent of drivers pay the tolls.

Schlictmann is bringing a class action suit on behalf of the other 54 percent.
“This is the first time that someone has bothered to calculate the ratio between the toll payers being forced to pay for the entire system, compared with all the people who use the system,’’ Schlichtmann said. “It shows clearly that the minority is paying for the majority to use the system for free. That is unfair, unconstitutional, inequitable, and wrong.’’
Turnpike officials dispute the numbers but won't say why because of the ongoing litigation. I always want to know about the methodology of a study before I wholeheartedly embrace it.

But on the surface it looks a lot like the MBTA fare collection system, where someone slipping in the backdoor can leave the driving and cost to someone else. And it certainly seems to jibe with the obvious lack of tolls across the Zakim Bridge, the O'Neill Tunnel and other expensive pieces of the Big Dig.

See you in court.

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Blogger Randi said...


August 11, 2009 1:40 PM  

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