The lost revenue is a problem, but the bigger issue is that 7000 people riding toll-free on the Turnpike means there’s more congestion than there needs to be. Maybe some of these free riders would choose to travel by bus or rail or carpool if they had to pay the toll. If turnpike officials were thinking correctly about tolling as a traffic management tool, rather than as a way to raise money, stuff like this wouldn’t happen:
Auditor General Jack Wagner called on the Pennsylvania Turnpike to tighten its rules on free rides for employees and vendors, saying 7,000 people get the perk.
In a press conference this afternoon, Mr. Wagner said a lax policy between January 2007 and August 2011 that meant that the Turnpike lost at least $7.7 million in potential toll revenue.