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Farming out the turnpike

Published: Sun, July 3, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m.

Farming out the turnpike

We will leave it to social sci- entists to explain how an issue that just five years ago helped define Republican gubernatorial candidate Kenneth Blackwell as out of the mainstream and led to his defeat is now on the verge of fait accompli by Ohio’s new governor, John Kasich. We’re talking about the proposed lease of the Ohio Turnpike, which is one of a number of social engineering issues that was insinuated into the budget passed by the General Assembly and signed by Kasich Thursday.

Whatever the explanation, the sale or lease of the Ohio Turnpike remains a bad idea. And it remains an idea that is neither politically conservative nor fiscally prudent.

The turnpike is an asset that has been built and maintained over a half century by the users of the turnpike — some, but not all, of whom are Ohio taxpayers.

Eager to ‘share the wealth’

One of the “arguments” being posited by leasing proponents is that the turnpike presently only benefits northern Ohioans, but its lease would allow all Ohioans to share in the profit.

But that twisted logic points out the very reason why the turnpike should be left alone to function as it has. The turnpike was not designed as a cash cow for the taxpayers of northern Ohio or Southern Ohio — and certainly not for politicians in Columbus.

The Turnpike Commission was created to insulate this important roadway from the grasp of politicians looking for something for nothing. The commission collects tolls with which it pays its debts and maintains, polices and improves the road. The fathers of the turnpike recognized that the motorists and truckers who pay the tolls are not cash cows. They should not be forced to pay a premium that is diverted into the state’s general fund, other highway funds or into the profit statements of a johnny-come-lately foreign consortium that buys a lease.

Risking the independent and successful operation of the turnpike for short-term profit and political gain is many things, but none dare call it conservative governance.


1NoBS(2684 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

I don't agree with all the editorials here, but I do agree with this one. Remember the hue and cry when some of this country's major ports were sold to not only foreign interests, but Middle-Eastern foreign interests? Who's going to lease or buy the Ohio Turnpike?

And, anybody who thinks the tolls will drop and/or the services provided will get better is delusional. When you add the desire to generate a profit into the equation, something's got to give to allow that almighty dollar to be made. Presumably the Turnpike is at an equilibrium now - tolls taken in are turned around and spent on upkeep, employees, and the other functions that keep traffic moving. If someone wants to make a profit on top of that, less will be available to be spent on upkeep (paving, keeping the lights and interchanges in good repair, etc.) or employees - we could end up with maybe one human taking tolls - can you imagine the backup of cars whose drivers don't have the EZPass device, with only one tollbooth open to take cash?

Privatizing the Turnpike is a bad idea.

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2VindyPost(436 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

The sale of our turnpike is ONE-TIME MONEY! Kasich will sell our turnpike to foreign investors....just brilliant....

Please read article below, this is an identical situation going on throughout our country bridges, pikes, etc


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3mgourley(32 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

NoBS.. Is the current turnpike system revenue neutral or a net gain? If it is, then I see no need to privatize. If it's not, why should taxpayers fund a roadway that is a net loss on the books?
Do you have an ATM card or a Credit Card? Do you only deal in cash? I think we have the technology to have some new fangled machine thingy that makes change. I don't see how that takes significantly more time than a human. Does that mean toll takers will be out of a job? Probably. Does that mean the salaries paid to toll takers would be used to maintain the roads? Probably. Sucks to be a toll taker, just like it probably sucked to be a buggy whip maker back in the early 1900's.
Tolls will continue to be collected and I assume that toll money will be required to be forwarded to Columbus to be spent as it is now.
Why do you think if toll booths are migrated from state control to private control the roads will fall into disrepair? Seems rather counterproductive to me.

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4redeye1(5530 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Mgourley I see you haven't had any problems with the new fangled machine thingy. Well wait if you happen to go into machine run lane and all you have is twenty dollar bill and thats all you have with you.. You might not get your change for weeks while the pike employee checks to see if the machine has balanced at the end of the day.. If it balances you will not get your money. If it doesn't you will wait for weeks to get it back.Where if you deal with people its returned immediately. Take you chose!

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5grand4dad(216 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Agree with you 100% NoBS. Another bad idea for our state.

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6mgourley(32 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

I may be in the minority here, but I generally keep a good supply of 1's 5's 10's and 20's in the wallet, as well as probably 5 bucks or so in change in the cup holder. You must be one of those rich, fat cats that eschew anything under a 20.

Again, debit cards have been around for what, 20 years? I'm sure that's valid tender.

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7NoBS(2684 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

mgourley, if the Turnpike is operating at a loss, I'm not aware of it. They seem to have the money to be adding a third lane to much of it. But as it is now, taxpayers AREN'T funding it, win or lose. Those who actually use it are. When sold, those who use it will continue to fund it, PLUS fund whoever owns it. Either tolls will go up, or employees and maintenance will go down. One of those things MUST happen.

Do you have an EZPass? Does everyone you know have one? Why not? The technology has been around for years. Should we all be forced to buy one, even if we only travel on the Turnpike once or twice a year? Should we pay that monthly fee for nothing, just in case we want to take a ride on the Turnpike? How many people do you suppose use the Turnpike who aren't from around here? Should they have an EZPass?

If you've seen debit cards being used to pay tolls, please tell me what planet that was on - it sure ain't around here!

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8Klink(36 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

I travel the Indiana turnpike for work at various times and the Indiana pike was sold. Maintenance and snow removal will be worse if similar to Indiana. Also, the automated only toll booths will cause problems when the credit card machine doesn’t accept a credit card. A lot of horn honking when a car is stuck without the ability to pay and no one is around to help.

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9WarrenRicheyKid(169 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

I want a living human being at the Turnpike toll booths. A machine can't come to my assistance if I need it. I can't report trouble on the road to a Turnpike ATM. And besides, why is the Republican governor so hellbent on increasing the number of unemployed Ohioans?

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10Nunya(1356 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Here's the Deal,..

Leasing or selling state assets aren't just a bad idea it's even a HORRIBLE proposal,..

My stance against it isn't partisan politics. Because I aligned with Pennsylvanians against it. Even when Dixiecrat Ed Rendell, tried to pull it off a few years back when he was their governor.

It's a corporate based fleece scheme that offers absolutely nothing but front load pennies to the citizens. In return for fleecing them long term and bilking the living hell out of them to use it.

There's not a single state where it's been done that shows it's been anything but a ripoff of the taxpayers.

Which is irrefutable fact and absolute private profit ponzi plan precedent.

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11Nunya(1356 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

@ dimebag

You're trying to say Wha?

The first question here is to ask are you lying on purpose? Or are you lying because you genuinely don't know any better,.. which is it?

See in comparison for starters as an electorate Indianans are known for being historically statewide stupid. To wit that ingrate perched as Indiana governor is none other than the re-elected Mitch Daniels, that in fact did lease their toll roads for $3.8 Billion back in 2007. He sold the state knuckle heads on a volley of false promises and he's now in the process of finishing that state off.

In those first 3 years of Mitch Daniels, corporate clip job positioning. He steered the state into a financial deficit just shy of one Billion dollars,.. http://www.journalgazette.net/article...

Then he sprung that " Major Moves plan " virtually sold it for that duration is 75 YEARS of the " Lease." Not only is it NOT working for Indiana but that 75 YEARS out outsourced ownership. Is actually a lifetime " sale " of the state asset for a couple generations of Indiana residents,.. did you know that?

To include cash grab kingpin Goldman Sachs & Co. is reported to have received more than $20 million in fees for just putting the ITR swindle transaction together.That new ITR is what orchestrates that the taxpaying residents of Indiana. Won't get control of their toll roads back until the year 2082,..

To wit that's no profit sharing plan. That's an absolute pilfer the populous PLOT !!!,.. try denying it.

In 2006, Mitch Daniels continued his crusade to axe state employees by signing privatizing the enrollment service for the state's welfare programs into law. Indiana's welfare enrollment facilities were replaced with outsourced call centers operated by his corporate cronies over at IBM.

After 3 years of suits, expanding welfare and pending legislative challenge of unconstitutionality. In mid-2009, after complaints of no service, poor service and non availability. Mitch Daniels canceled the swindle with IMB and returned the enrollment service back to the public sector

That's the same Indiana governor Mitch Daniels, that's now presiding over a state. That's running on a corporate scheme of smoke and mirrors. That when federal legislation for decreasing corporate tax immunity tax effect.

The citizens of Indiana that Mitch Daniels has hoodwinked. Will find that selling state assets to snake oil salesmen will leave them paying for triple fold by proxy,.. paying to use what they'd already once rightfully owned.

Look who's already carrying the load,.. http://www.agecon.purdue.edu/crd/loca...

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12UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Leasing the turnpike gives Ohio money to do other things. It's an acceptable plan in these hard times.

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13Nunya(1356 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

@ Dimebag

Check this out toke till you choke,..

First off you're a liar and to address the most relevant one you've told,..

QUOTE - The State of Indiana was losing money on their Turnpike. - end QUOTE

That's a patented Mitch Daniels, LIE that you're trumpeting in a VuVuzella manner. See I recall the Indiana toll roads being described as " minimally " successful. Those profit numbers were hovering in the $1 million per year range when that lease was orchestrated in 2006.

Where mysteriously now post " Lease " those reviewable Indiana toll road revenue charts. Has been removed from the viewable link it used to be posted on,.. all that exists now are vague downloadable PDF forms

That is aside from all there are in reference-able circulation. Are none other than Mitch Daniels, quotes. That are alleging the toll roads being a financial loss to the state since his perch,.. got that?

One has to be smart enough to question not only why those previous charts have now been pulled. As well as how would any " Investor " sees fit to pay $3.8 Billion borrowed dollars to a state. Just to seize control a non profitable deity see it in anyway fit, financially feasible and or lucratively logical. To assume control, cost and liability of it for 75 YEARS,.. surely you'll not answer that.


1.} Vehicles will be charged " double " if the residents don't open a revolving account with them,.. https://www.getizoom.com/tollRates.do

NOTE: All passenger vehicles from out of state toll road users. By design will pay " double " the privatized rate. For not having established an " I Zoom " account.

2.} Which is an account that requires authorization of giving that " private owner . " Direct access to ALL information and withdrawal access to your personal credit card or checking account,,.. https://www.getizoom.com/faqs.do#FAQ6

Check all the other traps and snare out,.. https://www.getizoom.com/faqs.do

And there's even MORE,..

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14Nunya(1356 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago


With Mitch Daniels having steered the state into corporate tax giveaways debt in his initial term. That were giveaways designed to play to such the 75 YEAR plot. Is in fact a textbook ponzi ploy. That on initial launch will give a fiscal appearance of immediate relief when sprung. Where in fact in Indiana specifically, it came in the sum of $3.8 Billion minus the $20 Million Goldman Sachs took off the top,.. call it $3.6 Billion.

However, Indianan's and everybody that now uses that roadway are also already paying an increased rate. To include look at what's happening when somebody even tries to utilize that money for what t was allegedly intended for.

Educate yourself,.. http://www.indystar.com/article/20090...

That money on paper is just being used as some quick fix facade. I'd bet it's in amortization bonds and full payment of the $3.6 Billion isn't even there in any total form of liquidity. If it were then why isn't it all accessible? To include why would Mitch Daniels try scalping Women's and children health care?

Here's that look,.. http://littlegreenfootballs.com/artic...

Even all that aside,.. can you imagine { or would you even understand } the profit projection. Of approx how much private profit is going to be sucked out of Indiana toll roadways patron's pockets in that span of 75 YEARS,.. do you?

Via rate hikes that toll road is now churning that outfit’s revenue up. To the tune of more than 15 percent private profit from $169.2 million in 2009 to $195.6 million in 2010,.. magic huh?

Here's the view,.. http://www.southbendtribune.com/news/...

Rep. Vernon Smith, D-Gary, said it best - " We've got to understand, any time we get privatization people have to make a profit," Smith said. If they don't earn money, "we have a situation where we have an unstable commodity that we really don't have any control over."

The kicker to that is when you're talking about the state no longer having any authoritative control over roadways that can dictate residents affordability to travel. As well as a private ownership that can make or break the states commerce with no recourse,.. that's a pilfer the populous PLOT !!!

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15AnotherAverageCitizen(1183 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago


So where is this new freeway in Indiana? Where are the new Toyota and Honda plants with this new freeway?

Unionforever (yea right)

So we should just take something that is "Acceptable" because of the bad times. Our bad times won't last 50-75years. Now if it was a GREAT OFFER, that is something different.

Leasing the OHIO turnpike is a REALLY bad idea. Why sell OHIO property to another country to profit off of? STUPID idea to give away something OHIO can profit off of for 50-75years.

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