Mr. Secretary, Open this Road!

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Summer travels have taken me up and down the East Coast, and I continue to marvel at other states’ ability to implement open-road tolling, while Massachusetts continues to hem, haw, and plan pilot programs.

I’ve seen the results of open road tolling in New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Delaware, and they are impressive. Drivers used to congestion and bottlenecks now proceed at regular speed.

If congestion was an important measure of performance for MassDOT (and I respectfully suggest its not, as they don’t measure it in their performance reports), open road tolling would be a priority project.

As transponders drop in price, they will become more pervasive (despite some objections) and the utility of open-road tolling will only increase.

Also, if we decide that some form of (more equitable, one hopes) tolling is part of a solution to our transportation funding problems, open-road tolling reduces transactions costs and allows more…ahem…flexible pricing.

Open-road tolling should be part of the low-hanging fruit by which we lower operating costs, reduce congestion, and enable future use of technology. Let’s do it now.

Crossposted on Boston Daily.