By Seth Daniel
For the Transcript
The clock was ticking on proposed increases to the tunnel tolls, and just about everyone, including new House Speaker Bob DeLeo (D-Winthrop), was sweating it out.
March 30 was the day that new tolls of $7 were to go into effect, and DeLeo was not about to let that happen.
DeLeo told the Sun Transcript that last week he called a special meeting with Senate President Therese Murray and Gov. Deval Patrick, and they were able to hammer out a compromise that will keep a few bucks in the pockets of those who use the Ted Williams or Sumner tunnels.
â€œThis is a personal issue for me because of my district,â€ he said. â€œLast week the governor, the senate president and I sat together and tried to figure out a plan so the tolls would not go up…We were able to do that, and Iâ€™m very excited about it; and it gives us the opportunity to come up with more of a comprehensive transportation plan in order to stop any further toll increases.â€
DeLeo said the Senate will debate the issue this week, while the House will discuss it next week.
As of now, the governor is currently on board with DeLeo.
He said he had more than a few calls and e-mails on the issue from Winthrop and Revere.
â€œYou wouldnâ€™t believe the letters, e-mails and calls,â€ he said. â€œWhen youâ€™re talking about doubling tolls, an extra $3.50 a toll on a daily basis, thatâ€™s a pretty big burden to put on people.â€
The goal for DeLeo and the rest of the leadership team is to have comprehensive transportation reform passed by July 1.