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Pike Officials Rescind Transponder Fee, Toll Increase Still On Table

The Massachusetts Turnpike Board of Directors has voted to rescind their vote to charge a 50-cent monthly service fee for Fast Lane transponders.

Their intent is to reduce backups at toll booths by getting more drivers to use the free transponders.

Meanwhile, there's concern time is running out to prevent a toll increase on the Turnpike.

Earlier this year, at the request of Governor Deval Patrick, the turnpike board delayed implementing toll hikes until july first in order to give the legislature time to come up with a plan revamping the state's transportation system.

The House and Senate have passed differing re-organization bills and have yet to address additional revenues to maintain the state's roads and bridges.

State Transportation Secretary James Aloisi says he's hopeful a compromise can be reached.

"[But] if there is no additional revenue to the Turnpike, I think it's awfully clear that there will have to be toll increases on July first," Aloisi said. "I'm hoping that that doesn't have to happen."

Bond rating agencies have indicated they will lower the Pike's bond ratings should new revenues not be found.

This program aired on April 23, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.

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