• Gov. Patrick pushes to oust toll takers


    BOSTON (FOX 25 / MyFoxBoston.com) – The days of toll workers on Massachusetts highways could be coming to an end if Governor Deval Patrick gets his way.

    According to the Boston Herald, the governor has put toll workers on notice as he moves forward with a plan to install electronic tolling across the state.   
    Transportation officials inserted a new clause into worker's union contract proposals in November that says the administration has the unlimited right to eliminate manual toll collection on Massachusetts highways.

    Most of the state's 400 or so toll collector positions would be eliminated by 2015.
    Secretary of Transportation Richard Davey estimates that it would cost about $100 million to replace the current toll collection system, which costs the state about $55 million a year. But officials say it will save money in the long run and make the turnpike more convenient.

    The governor stressed that planning is still in its early stages and details are still being worked out.

    So far, the worker's union has not commented on the proposal.

    The changes come just a week after the Patrick administration announced plans for massive statewide cuts in spending to compensate for a budget shortfall next year.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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