CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The all-electronic tolling system is finally starting on the Massachusetts Turnpike after years of planning and preparing. However, this means the current toll booths will be demolished and hundreds of manual toll collectors will be out of a job.
MassDOT Spokesperson Jacquelyn Goddard told 22News steps have been taken since the announcement of the all-electronic tolling, to prepare employees for the transition. She said there are 477 current part time and full time employees that will be impacted.
“About 120 have taken new jobs with MassDOT or will be transitioning to other jobs with MassDOT, about 146 employees have taken retirement or early retirement offers, and we anticipate that the remaining employees will need to be laid off,” said Goddard.
Employees were offered the following, according to Goddard:
- Early Retirement Incentive Program (ERIP)
- Cash Retention Stipend in lieu of the ERIP
- Employees were given priority consideration for other MassDOT jobs
Goddard said, “MassDOT committed $750,000 in funds for career training and educational opportunities for all impacted employees, (and over 100 hundred employees had been certified through the Career Services Centers.)”
The toll booths will begin coming down on Sunday, October 30th. It will take about a year before all of the toll booths are cleared away.