01 July 2009

Toll Hike Looming for W.Va. Turnpike (Updated)

The parent agency of the West Virginia Turnpike is poised to increase toll rates on the 88-mile roadway, The Associated Press reports.

AP's Tom Breen sets the stage for Wednesday's meeting of the Parkways, Economic Development and Tourism Authority on the subject.

(Update: Breen reports that the authority voted unanimously to hike the tolls, effective Aug. 1. As expected, they will rise "for passenger vehicles from $1.25 to $2 and for large trucks from $4.25 to $6.75."

The updated article also said that "steep discounts were approved for motorists who purchase EZ Pass commuter passes. They will pay $1.30 for passenger cars and $5.40 for large trucks.")

The agency held several public hearings on the toll rate question, after releasing an engineering report and projections on traffic and toll revenues as well as other information to get the ball rolling.

"The authority said toll increases are needed to keep the 88-mile highway between Charleston and Princeton from falling into further disrepair," Breen writes, adding that area residents and their elected officials "say the toll discriminates against southern West Virginia residents. They oppose any increase."

Both The Charleston Gazette and The Register-Herald of Beckley reported that toll hike critics were "insulted" that the authority is holding Wednesday's meeting in Charleston instead of the Beckley area as originally planned.

Others previewing Wednesday's meeting include the Charleston and Beckley newspapers, as well as MetroNews.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a surprise.
The meetings are nothing more than a formality so they can rubber stamp the hike.