Fine Print in MassDOT AET Contract Raises Concerns about Possible Expansion of Tolling, VMT

CBS News Boston pores over a MassDOT contract with the Jacobs Engineering Group (after a song and dance to gain access to the document) and reports, “Along with the traffic and revenue studies for the AET implementation, MassDOT also included a request to study congestion pricing, which could mean collecting higher rates during rush hour.” CBS adds that “MassDOT’s request for bidders mentioned studying new toll locations, potentially at the New Hampshire border. The document also lists possibilities like carpool lanes and vehicle miles traveled. . . .” MassDOT’s highway administrator, Tom Tinlin, essentially tells CBS to take a deep breath. “I can tell you this right now: We are not looking to raise the price on anything.” Tinlin added, “[W]e are not looking at congestion pricing or anything other than taking new technology to an old way of doing business.” He noted that Governor Charlie Baker is opposed to a vehicle miles traveled system.