Boston’s Tobin Bridge: Untolled Thousands Owed by Motorists

Tobin Memorial Bridge Boston Globe

During our recent jaunt to Boston we crossed the Tobin Memorial Bridge. The last time we did so, a few years ago, there were real people taking real cash at a real toll booth. But no more. The bridge is still a toll road, but no more toll booths. Instead regular users obtain an EZPass subscription, and occasional users are charged using PayByPlate and receive an invoice in the mail a few weeks later. While I lament both the loss of jobs and the human touch – giving directions etc. – I am impressed with the technology.

Tobin_signWith just a couple of reservations. The image below shows the envelope that arrived yesterday containing my $3.00 toll fee and instructions on how to pay it. No problem, I crossed the bridge, I will pay the toll. But could they have done a better job of making the envelope look like disposable junk mail had they tried? A simple white or brown envelope, with appropriate warnings, seems more likely to make it up from my letter box, and less likely to be immediately dumped in the recycling box.

Could they make this look any more like junk mail?
Could they make this look any more like junk mail?

I also wonder if it is economically viable to spend $1.20 on postage – and I assume some handling costs as well – to collect a $3.00 fee? According to the Boston Herald, in the first two months of use the City is owed $700,000 in outstanding tolls (that can now be revised downward to $699,997 with my payment)!

DCS_Grad_2 DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+


2 thoughts on “Boston’s Tobin Bridge: Untolled Thousands Owed by Motorists

  1. They should bring back the toll takers. Better yet? Make the bridge free. It’s been under construction without a break for 40 years, a permanent road block. Give it up, Boston.

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