PORTLAND — The Maine Turnpike Authority will hold the first of three public meetings tonight on proposed toll increases that would take effect in November.

The 6:30 p.m. meetings will be held at Auburn City Hall today, Portland City Hall tomorrow and Saco City Hall on Thursday.

The MTA plans to increase tolls so it can continue a 30-year plan to maintain and fix the turnpike’s bridges, interchanges and pavement, as well as pay off existing debt.

The authority, which operates without tax dollars, generates about $100 million annually through tolls. The proposed increases would generate an additional $27 million.

The authority is considering 10 scenarios for toll increases. The option favored by turnpike officials would add $1 to the toll plaza in York, 75 cents in New Gloucester and West Gardiner and 50 cents each at the Wells northbound and Gray southbound tolls.

The rate for E-ZPass users would increase by 20 percent, from 6.7 cents to 8 cents per mile.

Turnpike authority spokesman Dan Morin said he hopes the collective discussion at this week’s meetings is productive and respectful.

“We’re not trying to ram anything down people’s throat,” Morin said. “We want a good, rational give and take and we’ll bring all that back to the board, which will have to make the decision.”

Read more about the proposed increases here.


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