November 21, 2008

THE PIGOVIAN MOMENT:

Think big on transportation (Boston Globe, November 21, 2008)

NOTHING concentrates the mind of local drivers - and the elected officials who keep close tabs on public sentiment - like the possibility of paying $4 to drive into Boston on the Mass. Pike and $7 to use the Harbor tunnels. Last week, the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority board voted for stiff toll hikes in an effort to keep up debt payments for the Big Dig. That move only underscored what's wrong with the way the state pays for transportation: It isn't logical. It isn't fair. And it isn't adequate.

An expansion of the gasoline tax, which has been frozen since 1991, is the fairest, most broad-based way to generate money to fix the state's many transportation problems. The Turnpike Authority's financial crisis has created an opportunity. Governor Patrick and the Legislature should work out a comprehensive plan that uses a gas tax hike not just to pay for the Big Dig, but also to put the debt-ridden MBTA on firmer financial footing, repair crumbling roads and bridges, and cut or eliminate existing tolls.


Too limited.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 21, 2008 2:32 PM
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