As we reported yesterday, the Ohio Turnpike Commission met this morning and released initial findings of the $3.4 Million KPMG study of “opportunities” for squeezing short-term, one-time money out of this state-owned asset.

During the presentation they confirmed that they are looking at two plans, just as we predicted yesterday, one to lease the Turnpike and one to turn over control of the Turnpike to ODOT.  Under both options, they confirmed that:

  • Tolls will go up
  • At least two Maintenance Facilities will close
  • The possible lease would last 45 to 55 years
Officials refused to estimate how much money they might be able to get by leasing the Turnpike or bonding against future revenue.

While Kasich and Turnpike officials promised Ohioans the study would look at all options, including not making any changes, it appears KPMG was tasked with specifically looking for ways to turn the Turnpike into an ATM for the Kasich administration’s personal use.

Raising tolls and decreasing maintenance may make sense to a foreign company trying to squeeze every penny out of their newly purchased road, but it’s bad news for Ohioans who live and work here and who rely on the Ohio Turnpike every day.