The Poll On Tolls: Mixed Bag

From Christine Stuart, CT News Junkie:

Sacred Heart University poll of 1,004 Connecticut residents found 59 percent oppose electronic highway tolls and 54.5 percent would seek a route around electronic highway tolls if they are installed.

Only 34.7 percent of residents surveyed supported the idea of tolls in a survey released Monday afternoon.

Another 36.2 percent of residents were “more likely” to support tolls if the state guaranteed that the funds would be used on road, bridges, and highway improvements. Another 15.1 percent support tolls regardless of where the funds are going.

The poll conducted by GreatBlue between Feb. 13 and March 4 was touted by Gov. Ned Lamont’s administration as welcome news.

“The majority of Connecticut residents–over 50 percent–likely support tolling when they learn that the funds generated will be subject to protections, such as the state transportation lockbox, as approved by Connecticut voters, as well as federal law that mandates use on transportation infrastructure only,” Colleen Flanagan Johnson, Lamont’s senior adviser, said. “Today’s poll underscores Connecticut’s need to move forward with a sustainable, reliable and protected revenue source–40 percent of which will be paid for by people who don’t even live in our state–to make the upgrades and enhancements necessary to support Connecticut’s economic growth.”

The Sacred Heart University poll found that while 39.8 percent of residents believe the expected revenue of $1 billion would be worth a $100 million investment by the state to implement “e-tolling,” 38.5 percent did not believe “e-tolling” was worth such an investment.

Full story here.

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10 comments

  1. Old Tolls were easy/cheap to start, employed a few people and were instant revenue producers for Connecticut.
    New Tolls are expensive to start, outsource toll construction and create a huge revenue threshhold that must be met before dollar one goes to Connecticut.
    The GA’s empty-headed approach is made possible by expensive technology and used to satisfy existing contracts. Fixed costs are too high and crowd out legitimate needs. .

  2. Electronic tolling, what could go wrong? Texas contractor, Electronic Transaction Consultants (motto: “everything you need for life in the fast lane”), have made one whopper after another. In October 3,350 drivers were charged double for tolls on I-405. In December an additional 126,000 drivers were overcharged. And last week 8,200 drivers suddenly got invoices for nearly $1 million in tolls that were stored, but never billed, for a year. Electronic tolling, what could go wrong?

    Putting 50 tolls on 300 miles of Connecticut highways equates to one (1) toll every six (6) miles. This is wrong, immoral and unjust for Connecticut drivers. Just plain wrong.

    1. For uncovering the truth about a prospective toll collector, I nominate Donald Day as OIB’s investigative blogger of the day. He has many friends but no peers!
      It would be heartless if Governor Lamont signed a law that balanced our budget but created and sustained employment in another state. Tolls aren’t short term, right?

  3. Another tax is the state going to get rid of the gas tax? If we do get tolls is that money going to stay just for roads? Connecticut nothing but taxes

  4. Tolls are the only fair way to address our broken fuel tax system for funding our highways. Automobiles are getting nearly twice the fuel mileage of cars in the 1970’s. Hybrids have been around now for nearly twenty years and fuel tax revenues are in decline. Teslas and newer electric vehicles will not be paying any road use taxes if electronic tolling doesn’t take place. Electric tractor trailers are soon to hit our roads and these won’t be paying any taxes as they tear up the CT roadways. Electronic tolling is out of sight and out of mind. If done properly with congestion pricing, they will reduce the number of cars on the road during peak periods so that we might all be able to drive 30 miles in 30 minutes. What a concept, to be able to driver 60 miles per hour and get where you are going on time. Time is money people and I for one want electronic tolling in CT. I remember the Mianus Bridge collapse and the infrastructure in CT is literally falling apart as there is no money coming in to do anything other than stop gap repairs. The gasoline/diesel tax is dying. We can’t keep our collective heads stuck in the sand. The writing is on the wall. There is no other solution that I have seen presented by anyone (Republican, Democrat or independent). I’ve got 36 employees who make a living delivering milk in trucks that ply the highways of CT. It would be so nice if they could get where they are going without sitting in parking lots on the highways of CT. Electronic tolls will put financial burdens on people and changes will happen. More people will ride in busses and on trains. There will be money in the state coffers to improve our entire transportation network. You might actually see a revival of people car pooling to share the expense of paying the tolls. Not such a bad thought when people are becoming more and more socially isolated.
    Tell me if you have some other solution to funding transportation needs in CT and I’ll be more than happy to listen, but if you don’t, then I suggest that you do some homework and learn why electronic tolling is the only viable way to move our state forward and avoid another transportation disaster due to our aging and dangerous transportation infrastructure.

  5. This wouldn’t happen in China.
    Sure, it’s communism but every year top communists pitch their industrial policies and priorities to the National People’s Congress whose members are all from the same party.
    Because their legislative session lasts only ten days , they’re able to spend more time executing ideas rather than deliberating laws.

  6. Is it possible to fix the budget by raising taxes?
    Ask Governor Lamont and the GA-that’s what they’re doing to protect the over-promised.
    Once enacted, tolls become a tax difficult to repeal-especially after a $100M investment.
    Connecticut has a spending problem no tax/toll will cure.

  7. Tolls are just an unfair, counter-productive tax on the “forced-commuter” workforce of Connecticut’s urban areas… Especially in the absence of sensible state development policy — which would locate jobs proximally to the workforce — tolls can only be viewed as a stupidly-expedient means of fleecing workers on behalf of the “needs” of the elitist Connecticut oligarchy (especially with respect to Stamford-Greenwich…). (But what should we expect when we have a plutocrat/oligarch, from Greenwich, “serving” as governor…)

    There are much smarter to pay for necessary transportation upgrades in Connecticut — such as leasing highway right-of-way space to appropriate businesses. (

    In more pragmatic countries, such as Germany, where green-alternative energy sources are being tapped, in a major way, as government policy and program, major government income is being garnered through the leasing of highway right-of-way for the location of solar panels and wind turbines… Connecticut might think in terms of nurturing a state “green” transition in tis context. Or, perhaps, the state might think of setting up shop as an energy producer, in this context, and using the proceeds to finance transportation upgrades/maintenance…

    But, no. Connecticut is stuck in the 20th (or 19th?!) Century and could never muster the organization and vision to consider and pursue anything so technical and “radical” — especially since the previous governor sold the state to the natural gas industry and the “regulated(!)” utilities… And, of course, we can see that Ned is just Dan with more money, so why should we expect change and innovation in Connecticut?!…

    The former “Genius” of Connecticut, going by this legislative session, is obviously now a case of severe TBI… [Tolls… And maybe bridge-repair “trolls”…(!) Connecticut! Oy!]

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