Looking Back At “Toll-Free” Rides In Western MA!
Bay State residents: Remember when you were driving on I-90 in Western Massachusetts, you did not have to pay a cent in tolls? Those were the days when travelling on The Pike in both directions was FREE between exits 1 in West Stockbridge and exit 6 in Springfield at the I-291 interchange as tolls took effect east of that vicinity towards Boston in both directions.
This perk was in existence for years as drivers saved some money in the process. It wasn't until then Governor Deval Patrick put an abrupt stop to this procedure and to this day tolls unfortunately remain a staple from start to finish. Motorists were angry and expressed their disdain on this move from The State House because every little bit of savings is beneficial in more ways than one.
These days, everything is just plain EXPENSIVE and that also applies to paying tolls, (which I call literally throwing money out the window while you're on the road) but this previous move was a welcome sight to see for all who were visiting "The Beautiful Berkshires" as they could spend any excess money to stimulate our economy, but the state put the brakes on this option.
I enjoyed the opportunity to drive without stopping at a toll booth, but now collectors have been displaced collectors for the option of this so-called "electronic billing" which is just plain stupid as the move also took away people's livelihoods. let's face it : I'm NOT a fan of this "automated' world of living and I NEVER will be, guaranteed!!
Since those free rides on certain portions of The Mass Pike were abruptly put to an end, unfortunately there were NO attempts to bring this perk back. The solution is to discuss any possible negotiations in giving drivers a slight break as they could spend their money at a local business here in our backyard, but it doesn't seem Boston is taking a look at the "big picture" as the capital city would rather see these funds and those who can use the extra business are once again shut out of the process.
BOTTOM LINE: Living in the past is a GOOD thing, even though we are discussing nickels and dimes, I believe our area could make better usage of this dose of spare change because Boston has plenty f options to make money. Lots of people agree, this "toll-free" ride would be a nice return where residents, tourists and local merchants would benefit from this move. We shall see if this becomes reality, although it is highly doubtful. I am NOT agreeing with Michael Douglas' famous phrase from the movie: Wall Street". Greed is NOT good!! Enough said!!