PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER)- With turnpike tolls expected to go up, commuters may want to explore other less expensive alternatives. The more frequent turnpike travelers, EZ Pass saves people time an money. What about alternative routes to the tolls though?
You can also take alternate routes that won't cost you a toll, but they will cost you time. York is positioned to see the biggest hike - to $3.00. There is a way to avoid that toll, but is it worth the extra time and aggravation? Heading south you can avoid paying in York, by getting of the turnpike at the Wells exit where there is no toll and taking Route 1.
We did just that to compare the two options under ideal driving conditions, going the speed limit. The problem with this route is lower speed limits, a lot more traffic and stop lights. This is a Wednesday not even a heavy traffic day.
Traffic rolled right along, even through downtown Ogunquit which is notorious for summer back ups. Once we got closer to our destination we hit a two lane section of the roadway with smooth sailing at 55 miles-per-hour. Avoiding the toll and taking Route 1 took us 27 minutes.
We headed back and made the same trip, this time staying on the turnpike. From the Wells exit to the York toll booth, it took us 11-minutes. Is 16 minutes of your time worth $3.00?
If you're in no rush, want a little more scenery and maybe grab a bite to eat, Route 1 is your best bet. If not then you can did a little deeper, pay at the toll booth and get to where you're going a lot quicker.
Nor people traveling North up to the Portland area, another free alternative is much more hassle free. Instead of getting off exit 44 at 295, take the next exit instead. Exit 45 at the Maine Mall requires no toll and can get you right back on 295 if you are paying cash.