NATSO Board Member Robert Bolduc, CEO of Pride Travel Centers, urged Connecticut lawmakers to reject tolls in the upcoming special session stating that tolls have very real, negative economic consequences for both businesses and residents.
In an editorial published in the Connecticut Mirror, Bolduc said that Governor Lamont's tolling plan will hurt existing Connecticut businesses and drive away prospective companies that are considering locating in the state.
"The last thing cities like Hartford need is a blow to our business friendly image and to Connecticut’s recruiting power," Bolduc wrote in the editorial published on June 27. "It is easy to understand that if you significantly increase the cost of doing business in an area, you make that area, or in this case the entire state, less competitive."
Pride Travel Centers recently opened a travel center a half-a-mile from the intersection of Interstate 91 and Interstate 84 in Hartford, which Bolduc said provided motorists and professional drivers with a much-needed introduction to the City of Hartford.
Bolduc said that tolls put Connecticut businesses at a competitive disadvantage by driving up shipping costs and increasing the costs of goods for consumers. Those increased costs ulimately drive up the costs of working, living and operating in Connecticut.
Bolduc also discussed the significant harm caused to businesses, employees and local communities as traffic patterns shift. Cars and trucks seeking to avoid the tolls would create devastating customer declines for businesses like Pride Travel Centers as well as restaurants and hotels while ensnarling traffic on secondary roads not meant for heavy volumes. Furthermore, employees would be forced to either pay the toll to come to work or extend their commutes to avoid the toll.
"Gov. Ned Lamont has said his economic development team’s mission is 'to promote and champion Connecticut to businesses who wish to locate or grow here,'" Bolduc wrote. "Why would the state help us get started and then cut us at the knees?"
The editorial from Pride Travel Centers marks the second in recent days to criticize Gov. Lamont's tolling plans.
Mark Anderson, a member of the anti-tolling coalition No Tolls Connecticut, said in a recent editorial published in the Hartford Courant that Connecticut policymakers should take a hard look at existing spending and focus on more efficient transportation funding solutions that don’t lose upwards of 30 cents on the dollar, rather than bogging commuters and businesses down with congestion tolling.
Anderson, working in collaboration with the Alliance for Toll-Free Interstates (ATFI), submitted the piece in response to an editorial by Yale professors who said that under Gov. Lamont's plan for congestion pricing tolling tolls will be high enough during peak hours to encourage drivers to travel at different times, bring in needed transportation dollars and reduce congestion.
Anderson said that few people have control over the hours that they must commute to work.
Subscribe to Updates
NATSO provides a breadth of information created to strengthen travel plazas’ ability to meet the needs of the travelling public in an age of disruption. This includes knowledge filled blog posts, articles and publications. If you would like to receive a digest of blog post and articles directly in your inbox, please provide your name, email and the frequency of the updates you want to receive the email digest.