The spin masters over at NCDOT are at it again with the most recent excuse as to why HOT lane contractor, Cintra, won't release total amounts prior to signing the contract.
The reason? Effectively, the answer is "we always do it this way."
According to NCDOT....
"Bids are not required to be released until an actual agreement is signed so it's nothing unique to this particular project."
In this case toll rates are part of the "bid".
Unfortunately for the NCDOT, there is something unique about this project. It is a variable rate tolling project - the first in North Carolina!
Listen, the whole point of a tolling project is to pass through the cost to the end user. In other projects the NCDOT is effectively the end user, and they are privy to the details around cost. In a tolling project the end-user is the commuter and not releasing these details is forcing them to accept a product without knowing the cost.
Update: And the spin continued right up until the day the NCDOT signed the commercial close on the project today. A sad day for our state and for residents of Lake Norman in particular. How do you like being treated as guinea pigs?