State: Highway tolls could bring in $1 billion a year

November 15, 2018

HARTFORD - Tolls on all vehicles traveling Connecticut’s highways and four-lane state routes could bring in $1 billion a year to repair roads, bridges and ease congestion.

A preliminary study released by the Connecticut Department of Transportation also includes significantly reduced per mile rates for Connecticut drivers and contends that out-of-state trucks and cars would pay 40 percent of the revenue.

“The report is designed to inform a dialogue among our elected leaders and the citizens of Connecticut about the potential for instituting tolls in the state,” said DOT Commissioner James Redeker.

“Gov. Malloy’s Transportation Finance Panel concluded that current revenues are insufficient to maintain our roads and bridges or to remove traffic bottlenecks and reduce congestion and recommended tolls as one way of generating new revenue,” Redeker said.

Republican opposition to tolls prevented Democrat leaders from beginning the process of installing the levies on state highways last legislative session. Following the recent election, Democrats have comfortable control of the House and Senate, and Governor-elect Ned Lamont is already in favor of tolls on trucks only.

The study advances an anticipated $10 million toll study recently approved by the State Bond Commission. The preliminary study examined options for that would help pay for transportation infrastructure improvements and demonstrated that a statewide all-electronic tolling could raise substantial revenue with low rates for Connecticut drivers.

Tolls could be as low as 3.5 cents per mile for a frequent, off-peak car driver with a Connecticut E-Z Pass. The average trip made by a Connecticut driver on limited access highways is 12 miles.

With those discounts, a 12-mile toll trip would be 42 cents off-peak and 53 cents during peak hours.

“Charging higher rates during peak traffic periods and lower rates in the off-peak will help reduce congestion during the peak period,” DOT said.