As The Revenue Tolls–How About Tolls On The Border?

Retired city firefighter Andy Fardy would like to take a hose to politicians opposed to tolls that he writes would create a revenue windfall for Connecticut. The state abolished tolls a few decades ago, but many states now operate modern toll facilities much less intrusive that generate needed cash. Fardy shares his observations:

While traveling from Bridgeport to Norwalk this AM I was amazed at the number of out-of-state cars and trucks that were on the highway. I started thinking all of these out-of-state vehicles are using the highways of Connecticut for free. We the citizens of Connecticut are paying 100% of the road maintenance for our highways. We are one of the few states in the continental US that have no tolls. We live in a state of taxes and expense yet when the state government gets a chance to get us a little monetary relief, they refuse to act.

The politicians will tell you they will vote no for tolls because we will lose Federal highway funds. That’s baloney, just look at the tolls in New York and New Jersey and they get Federal funds for highways.

You will here from people who will talk about accidents at toll booths and at the Stratford Connecticut toll where seven people died in a fiery crash. They won’t tell you the accident was due to a design flaw in the highway.

There will be people from Connecticut who will argue against tolls on our borders, these are the same people who will travel to New York city and pay outrageous bridge tolls and not say a thing. It’s time people coming into Connecticut pay to use our roadways, after all they help damage them.

Placing tolls on our borders where highways enter the state will provide millions and millions of dollars in Revenue. With E-Z pass the inconvenience if any to the motoring public will be minimal, there are E-Z pass lanes where you can still maintain a speed of 55 when passing through the toll.

Here are some numbers to digest:

George Washington Bridge $2,000,000,000 a year

New Jersey Road Tolls 2013 $1,393,658,000

E-Z Pass Fee $47,315,000

Concession Revenue $34,990,000

Port Authority Toll 2011-12 $602,000,000

New York State Thruway one month only $28,432,627

This is a lot of money that could be helping Connecticut pay for its road repairs and construction. The politicians don’t mind taxing the citizens to death but they seem to be afraid to tax out-of-staters entering Connecticut. Go figure.



  1. Andy, the response to your idea has generally been we cannot re-institute tolls on interstate highways because the Federal DOT would withhold funding for CT’s roads. But as you noted, many area states have tolls on what I perceive to be Interstate highways. Are they incurring loss of funding? Also, unless the toll monies are put into a fund dedicated strictly, solely and only for maintenance and upkeep of CT roads, the bastards in Hartford will rob from it just as they recently did to help balance the budget.

  2. If possible, are there specific dollar figures that the federal government gives Connecticut for highways? How does that amount figure up when compared to the dollar amounts shown above that our neighboring states gsrner from tolls? Seems rather foolhardy that we are the only state that has no tolls. We pay to enter NY, NJ, MA, etc., and yet they pay nothing to us for the wear and tear on our highways. It’s absurd, anyone who thinks there’s no such thing as a free ride obviously hasn’t driven through CT. It’s only simply logical that tolls should be reinstated at our borders as soon as possible. Besides, it seems to me that its much easier for the State to skim federal funds which are probably allocated as one lump annual sum, than it would be to skim toll money that is generated on an ongoing basis.

  3. The federal highway money comes from f8uel taxes on gasoline and diesel f8uels. It also comes from the sale of tires and other transportation costs. We receive $1.64 for every dollar spent but the surrounding states with tolls actually receive more money from the feds.
    There is absolutely no truth to the fact that we would lose Federal highway funds. If every state with tolls received no federal funds the politicians from those states would be raising hell.
    We are the heaviest taxed state in the country so any extra income to lessen the tax burden cant be bad . Someone or something has to help us.

  4. How about we just stop lolly- gagging and get this done. There are faults and risks to be found with any plan; All one has to do is look for them. Paralysis by analysis is no revenue producer either.

    1. Bond Girl, I agree with you. Time is of the essence; reinstating the tolls is the way to go. CT is in dire need of revenue to offset the exorbitant cost of living. We were in NJ a couple of weeks ago in a city about a 45-50 minute ride after crossing the George Washington Bridge, and gas was 41 cents a gallon cheaper than in CT. As far as tolls, NJ is overkill, yet we don’t have even a single toll on our borders. Makes no sense to me.

  5. Andy- this would create more revenue but not solve the problem. We are just spending to much. It reminds me of a drug addict. The problem is not the addiction. The problem is not being able to get enough drugs. Until it kills you. Having more money will just bring about more spending. Wasn’t the state income tax supposed to solve our budget problems? So, what happened?

    1. That is irrelevant. The cities with good spending habits don’t need the money. The cities with bad spending habits will waste it. I.e., Bpt gets the money. They use it to build a new project. Those people keep the people who do these things elected. The people who run the projects ‘lose’ all the money. Bpt ends up just as broke as it is now.

  6. Andy–I do not want to ‘beat a dead horse’ but there is an easy test to tell whether or not something is a good idea. Would you still support the idea if all the towns BUT BPT got funds from the tolls? Would you support the idea if one of the tolls would be at the end of your driveway? These two situations are what will happen. You see, the increase in funds will only solve BPT’s problems until their spending catches up. You can remember the economic boost you may have gotten from a raise or promotion but that ‘boost’ only lasted a little while. In less than a year you were as broke as you always were. Secondly, any increase in business expenses will be paid by consumers. The added toll expense will be incorporated into the cost of the product. Workers will want a raise to offset the increased business expense and this expense may be tax deductible. With the loss of Fed highway funds and the new tax deduction, toll income would be little more than a wash for the state.

  7. BOE I am sorry but I don’t buy your scenario. Just look at the price of gasoline in CT and the price of gasoline in New Jersey. We may not like it but we spend millions on road repairs on all our major roadway and we pay 100% of those repairs. I did not espouse giving the toll money to the towns and cities, I want that money put back into highway repairs. Do you really think we get products shipped here cheaper because we have no tolls? Tell me which products. BTW I do have a toll at the end of my driveway, it’s property tax and the toll is over $6,000 per year.
    While I am at it I also feel many of the exits on 95 should be closed. Please tell me why Fairfield needs eight exits. This is supposed to be a thruway, not a local road.

    1. Much of CT’s gas price is tax. That does make stuff in CT more expensive. That is why CT imposed a ‘did you buy it in another state’ tax. Tolls will help that out. Tolls aren’t going to make CT stuff cheaper. Actually, the feds give us a great deal of money to fix the highway. Malloy then gives that money to D&G. The company having the worst safety record in the state. If we get tolls the federal money goes away. Then we’ll have to play the tolls avoiding game. I must have misread when you said:
      ‘Andrew C Fardy // Apr 26, 2014 at 3:19 pm

      BOE, you are right but maybe the income from these tolls could go to the cities.’

  8. BOE; when you say “WE,” whom do you mean? The residents of CT won’t have to pay a toll unless they leave the state and then they would pay when reentering CT. WE would NOT lose federal highway funds if we had tolls.


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