The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) will hold three public hearings on the proposed Tobin Memorial Bridge toll increase. Under the proposed rate structure, Tobin Bridge drivers will pay the same as those using the Sumner/Callahan Tunnels and the Ted Williams Tunnel. The $1.00 increase to $3.00 for a roundtrip will standardize the cash toll rates for all of the Boston Harbor crossings and maintain the Tobin Bridge as one of the least expensive toll bridges connecting to a major U.S. city. The FASTLANE discount will remain available to Charlestown and Chelsea residents.
Toll revenue from the bridge is used for operation and maintenance costs. During the next ten years, Massport will invest an estimated $68 million in major capital improvements including steel and concrete repairs, lead paint removal, painting, redecking and repaving, and enhanced signage. Many of the improvements will enhance public safety and security, reduce roadway noise in the neighborhoods, and provide a smoother ride for motorists. In addition, Tobin Bridge revenue is used to contribute to the Central Artery/Tunnel Project.
Three public hearings will take place on the following dates:
Date Monday, December 1, 2003
Time 6:00 P.M.
Location North Shore Community College, MBTA Conference Room
Date Tuesday, December 2, 2003
Time 7:00 P.M.
Location Harvard-Kent School,
50 Bunker Hill Street
Date Thursday, December 4, 2003
Time 7:00 P.M.
Location Chelsea YMCA,
207 Shurtleff Street
Changes in the toll structure are expected to take effect in spring 2004, following a report by a legislative advisory committee. With the toll rate adjustment, the Tobin Bridge remains less expensive than similar metropolitan access spans such as the George Washington Bridge ($4.00 to $6.00 a round trip) and the Verrazano Bridge ($7.00 to $8.00 a roundtrip) in New York City. San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge more than doubled in price last year when the toll rate rose from $2.00 to $5.00.
Tolls on the Tobin Bridge are only collected on the southbound trip. There are no tolls for the northbound trip, exiting the City of Boston.