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Charlie Baker trolls toll congestion pricing | Boston Herald

Gov. Charlie Baker signaled he’s likely to put the brakes on a Senate plan to test rush-hour congestion pricing on the state’s toll roads, saying his working constituents would see it as “incredibly punitive.”

The Herald reported yesterday that a new MassDOT pilot program, included in the state budget that is now being reviewed on Beacon Hill, is aimed at easing congestion on highways by offering commuters steep discounts of as much as 25 percent for avoiding peak traffic hours. While the current plan doesn’t raise tolls, drivers have told the Herald they consider it unfair and are suspicious that it could ultimately lead to rush-hour surge pricing. A separate plan would study congestion pricing for commuter rail service.

“A lot of people come in based on when their boss requires them to come in,” Baker said yesterday in an interview on WAAF. “They also come in based on things like dropping their kids off at school and putting their kids at day care and a whole bunch of other things. And I think for a lot of folks who don’t have the flexibility to manage their schedule, because, you know, they are working on a time clock, and stuff like that, they are going to view this as incredibly punitive.”

“My guess is that a modest difference between what you pay before 6 and what you pay after 9 and what you pay between 6 and 9 probably doesn’t make much difference at all,” Baker said. “I doubt we’re going to want to get into the business of dramatically charging people extremely different prices depending upon what time of day they come in.”

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Charlie Baker trolls toll congestion pricing | Boston Herald.

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