The Philadelphia Inquirer offers no definite verdict, only noting concerns over “giving up control” and about not forcing drivers on all parts of the state to pay (they want “the cost of transportation repairs ought to be borne by as many drivers as possible”). Obviously they have never heard of the gas tax (federal and state), which funds I-80 repairs and funded its construction, but even so, if I-80 is to be tolled, it should also be competitively bid out – which may fetch nearly as much as the Turnpike bid (which is already more than Act 44, involving tolling both roads). As for losing control, the Inquirer editorial staff should read Len Gilroy’s analysis of the controls in the concession agreement.
The Morning Call opines that it is a tough call between a lease and tolling I-80, noting people like Rep. Joe Markosek oppose the lease because … well, no good reason, other than he likes the Turnpike Commission.
The Express Times comments that a Turnpike lease or tolling I-80 puts us “between a rock and a hard place”. But their only reason for considering a Turnpike lease a hard place is that Turnpike tolls will go up under a lease – but Turnpike tolls will go up under Act 44 by at least 25% and 3% annually thereafter, without limit.
Bucks County Courier Times