Some toll collectors being laid off, others retiring or getting new jobs

211 toll collectors are being laid off

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The all-electronic tolling system will be activated on the Massachusetts Turnpike this Friday, but that means hundreds of toll collectors will be out of a job.

477 current part-time and full-time MassDOT workers are being impacted by this change to all-electronic tolling. About 120 of them have taken new jobs with MassDOT, or are transitioning to other jobs within MassDOT. About 146 employees have taken retirement or early retirement offers. The remaining 211 collectors will be laid off.

More than 400 employees impacted by the all-electronic tolls

“I feel really bad for the people losing their jobs. You know they work hard for their money, and it’s not a job you can transfer easy to something else either so that’s going to be tough,” Jannah Tierney of Belchertown said.

Employees were offered an Early Retirement Incentive Program (ERIP), a cash retention stipend in lieu of that ERIP, or were given priority consideration for other MassDOT jobs. The agency says that they have committed $750,000 for career training and education. More than 100 workers have been certified through the Career Services Centers, and some have chosen to seek work in the private sector or with other government agencies.

The toll booths will begin to come down on Sunday, but it will be about a year before all of them are completely cleared away.