Saturday, August 14, 2004

Taking its toll

One summer when I was in college, I interned in the district office of state Rep. Jess Stairs (R-Acme). I quickly learned that jobs as toll collectors on the Pennsylvania Turnpike were in great demand--people regularly came into the office to ask if Stairs could use his influence to get them a job with the Turnpike Commission.

Well, now I understand why. According to the Trib, toll collectors are paid $18.50 an hour. If the Trib's math is correct, that's $38,000 a year. (Sixty grand with overtime, the Trib says.) And union officials are angry that the commission--like most private employers--is expecting the collectors to pay a greater share of their health insurance. My heart bleeds.

Tolls on the turnpike recently increased 42 percent. Keep that in mind the next time you hand over your quarters to a toll collector. If he or she has a smile on their face, you'll know why.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

No offense, but how much should toll collectors make? They have to eat, too. $38K doesn't seem that unreasonable to me to stand in a hot little metal booth all day and deal with loudmouth yobbos ... now, if some of them are really clearing another $22K in overtime, that's another story, and it points to gross mismanagement and inefficiency at the PTC.

On the other hand, I've never made that much in my life. That's four years of college, wasted, when I could have gotten a job on the Turnpike! Arrgh!

-- AKA Jelly Doughnut

4:10 PM

Blogger Jonathan Potts said...

I think the amount paid to the privatized toll collectors in Florida ($6.50/hour, according to the Trib) is too little. I think the you have to pay enough to compensate for the monotony, but let's face it--it's unskilled labor, and I think that $18.50 an hour is too much.

4:44 PM


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