Toll Booths

Are toll booths outdated and a waste of time?


Bryce Devine ‘23, Staff Writer

It was a Friday night and I was cruising down the highway at a comfortable speed, my destination set to Lincoln, NH where I planned on skiing. The headlights were on as the snow came down heavy. It was bitterly cold, yet I was comfortable with my heated seat and music playing. But then I saw it. Looming in the distance was my greatest fear. A toll booth. I frantically searched for the money needed to pass through this hellish gate, but it grew closer and closer as I approached and time was running out. At the last moment I found four quarters and breathed a sigh of relief. I drove up and rolled down my window, letting the cold air in, instantly freezing my face, and paid. I was shaken, and quite possibly stirred, as I continued my journey.

All that may have been dramatic, but it doesn’t change the fact that I hate toll booths with a passion. They keep me up at night with hatred and contempt as they are an obstacle I just can’t get past. The whole idea of a toll booth is an invention created by a madman who only wanted to watch the world burn. You are driving at high speeds and have to search your car for the money needed while you stay in your lane. You might have to reach for your wallet in your back pocket, or scrounge for spare change as you barrel towards the gate. If you survive this trial, you must roll down your window and embrace the elements, whether that be the freezing cold, blazing heat, or dreadful rain, and have human interaction which is an obstacle by itself. Coming out of this experience, don’t be surprised if the ride is ruined. You’re cold, stressed, and tired, as any conversation you had was naturally interrupted and the best part of the song had passed. The whole vibe is ruined and only for 1 dollar.

I don’t mind paying a dollar, as I know I can survive, but it’s not about the money. It’s about the principle. As a working member of society, I know how frustrating it is seeing that income tax suck away hard earned money, understanding there is nothing there is to be done. I feel like I pay more than enough taxes for the amount I make at minimum wage, or at least enough to let me drive on the road for free. They are allowed to make me pay just to drive on a road that leads to my house. At least have the decency to include a driving tax in my original taxes so I don’t have to go through the whole process of toll booths. It is an unnecessary middle man that only gets in the way of basic day-to-day life and needs to be abolished.

I am fully aware of the EZ Pass lane, but this is a whole process by itself. I have to go online and buy one, and wait for it in the mail. Or I would have to drive someplace to pick it up in person, but on the way there I would probably be stopped by a toll booth. But I am writing for the nameless who don’t have the EZ Pass, and people like me who are too lazy to get one. And this is not my fault. I shouldn’t have to go through this process in the first place just to drive on the road! The whole idea of a toll booth is a system that is out of date and unneeded, as driving on a highway should be a human right and not something I have to suffer for on a weekly basis.

OP5: What are your thoughts on Toll Booths

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