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Maine Turnpike traffic falls after toll increases

May 19, 2013

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Traffic on the Maine Turnpike fell by 4 percent in the first six months after tolls went up, but toll revenues increased by 16 percent during the same period.

From November 2012 when the toll hikes went into place through April, the turnpike took in $51.7 million, or $7.2 million more than the same period the previous year.

Maine Turnpike Authority Executive Director Peter Mills says enough money is now being collected — but not much more — to pay the turnpike’s operating budget, maintenance and long-term debt service.

The Maine Sunday Telegram reported that traffic numbers suggest drivers are staying clear of certain parts of the turnpike to avoid paying fee increases at toll plazas. But turnpike officials say they expect those traffic drop-offs to be temporary.

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