Gov. John Kasich’s plan to privatize and lease the Ohio Turnpike has met with considerable opposition from across the state. But Kasich is prepared to make a Request for Proposals (RFP) and pursue the plan, according to State Rep. Matt Szollosi (49th District)....
....Szollosi, as have other opponents of the plan, have cited Indiana, which leased its turnpike in 2006, as an example of what could happen in Ohio.
“Indiana privatized its turnpike. The maintenance of that asset has deteriorated, the tolls have almost doubled in four or five short years, and I believe at this point the toll workers are making just over minimum wage,” said Szollosi. “I’ve heard that the rest stops have deteriorated in quality and cleanliness. When you privatize, profit becomes the motive. Anyone who has traveled along the Ohio turnpike can see that this asset is in excellent condition. The workers do an exceptional job maintaining this precious asset. The rest stops are clean. The people, particularly in the northern part of the state who primarily use the asset on a daily or weekly basis, should not have to see the rates increase or potentially doubled nor should they have to experience a deterioration in the quality of the asset. It’s too important for us - the corridor along the northern part of the state - for economic and industrial development purposes to turn the turnpike over to outside or potentially foreign interests. We shouldn’t hand over this asset paid by the taxpayers for corporate profit.”
If the Turnpike continues to make a profit, why sell it? Kasich's plan just doesn't make any sense, especially considering the Indiana example.
* Plunderbund has a great posting about Dr. Robert Sommers.