SHARECOMMENTMORE

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - The unpopular decision to raise tolls on the Maine Turnpike appears to be paying off.

The Turnpike Authority reports that in the six months since it increased tolls at some spots along the 106-mile highway, revenue has increased by 16 percent even as the number of cars using the turnpike dropped by 4 percent.

The agency has also signed up more than 17,000 new E-ZPass customers, bringing the total to 209,000.

From November through April, the turnpike took in $51.7 million in revenue, $7.2 million more than the same period the previous year. It needs to raise $14 million in the next six months to meet expenses.

Turnpike officials tell The Portland Press Herald they expect to meet that goal, given that revenue traditionally increases during tourist season.

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