Public Hearing on Turnpike Toll Increase Has Zero Turnout

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Drivers who travel the Ohio Turnpike could have to shell out more for tolls starting Jan. 1, 2014.

No members of the public showed up Wednesday night in Boardman for the first public hearing on the proposed toll increases. The hearing was hosted by the Ohio Turnpike Commission.

The plan is to implement toll increases over 10 years based on the rate of inflation, which is 2.7 percent. Tolls would be frozen for 10 years for those with E-Z Pass for trips of 30 miles or less.

The Commission said the increases are in line with Governor John Kasich’s plan to put 65,000 people to work keeping up with infrastructure and construction on the toll road.

“We have among the lowest passenger rates in the country, and the lowest commercial rates, and as the presentation indicated earlier, we will remain that way and in many cases, if not most cases, our rates 10 years from now are still going to be lower than our competing states today,” said Ohio Turnpike Executive Director Richard Hodges.

The Turnpike Commission will hold two more public hearings, in Maumee and Berea,  before deciding whether to accept the proposed changes to the toll rate schedule.

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