Just Get EZ-Pass Already

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I know some of you don’t like this kind of price differential strategy in tolling, where people who have EZ-Pass pay less than people in the cash lanes.

But you really just need to get an EZ-Pass and get over it. The state is trying to nudge you to get the EZ-Pass. If you do what they want, you’ll save money, and you’ll save time. There is no downside to this.

The time costs of everybody wasting time in cash lanes add up to a surprising amount of drag on the economy. All that time spent waiting around in traffic is just dead time we can’t spend working or having fun, and time is one thing they can’t make more of. You are making Pennsylvania poorer if you don’t have EZ-Pass.

This entry was posted in Transportation.

20 Responses to Just Get EZ-Pass Already

  1. Mark Brennan says:

    What do you do with the 700 jobs that will be lost? How will you make up the money that will be lost in local communities where those workers pay their taxes, school their children and pay school taxes? Increased foreclosures and turmoil on yet another group of workers! We are going to automate ourselves right out of existence and EZ Pass is just another vehicle to take us there! Be careful what you wish for! When the cash customers are gone, you EZ Passers will be their only source of revenue. Also, don’t think for a minute that point-a to point-b speed enforcement is not in the immediate future as a source of revenue.

  2. Albert Brooks says:

    I’m wondering where the break even point is? I would need to use an EZ Pass less than once a month so is the cost of having money tied up greater,equal or less than the convenience of using EZ Pass infrequently?

    I don’t mind the idea but you can’t force everybody to use it unless it is a national system. The things I don’t like are the systems that only take credit cards. Money itself says it legal tender for all debts public and private. I don’t know of any entity that supersedes the federal government.

    • phillydem says:

      I have EZ Pass and am an infrequent user of it. There’s an annual fee, but it’s pretty small, less than $5, iirc. You can do a direct withdrawal from your bank account as well as using a credit card.

      The big thing you have to remember is to keep the credit card info current or you’ll end up incurring unexpected charges that will take a call to customer service to straighten out. The other thing I just learned is that transponder batteries only last
      about 8 yrs, but you’ll get a new transponder free of charge and then just return the old one.

      For short trips, EZ Pass isn’t that big a savings, but if you’re going a long way on the Tpk, it’s worth it.

    • Jon Geeting says:

      The solution is to make all the different state systems compatible.

    • Mark Brennan says:

      That’s correct. But in order for this to go nation-wide, we would have to agree to reciprocity and consequences against drivers licenses for unpaid tolls. Can you imaging what that would do to insurance rates? This is a BAD DEAL! Add to that the fact that we are being forced to get EZ Pass because of the price differentials, that’s enough for me to hold the line and say no thanks.

      • Jon Geeting says:

        Why would that increase insurance rates?

        • Mark Brennan says:

          Jon: Simply put… “Have you had any suspensions or revocations in the past 5 years?” That’s one of the first questions you are asked when applying for insurance. You are then automatically thrust into a more expensive premium bracket. I don’t see the fairness in jacking someone’s premiums to crazy rates because someone didn’t pay their toll! Especially in another state, since you are for nationalizing the tolling system.

          • Jon Geeting says:

            People should pay their tolls. I don’t have a problem with people’s insurance rates going up if they don’t pay. That’s irresponsible. Not gonna cry for the tax dodgers.

  3. An informed citizen says:

    The turnpike should be in the business of providing convenient, safe and congestion free travel for the motoring public.
    The agency has a long standing tradtion of political patronage which excludes members of the general public from a chance at a toll collector postion.
    Salary and benefits for a collector: $20+ /hour, 16 paid holidays, fully paid eye, dental and health care plus a defined benefit state pension. Employees are represented by two teamster locals whose political contributions and connections with turnpike commissioners has resulted in high operating costs, overstaffing, archane work rules and general inefficiency across the board. Despite the every increasing usage of E-ZPass, there has not been a corresponding reducion in the number of toll collectors.
    At the end of the day, turnpike customers are are the bottom of the priority list, far below favored contractors, consultants, bond lawyers, financial advisors, the leadership desires of the state senate and house of representatives. The impact of their bloated operation is borne by the toll paying public who has now suffered 6 years of annual increases caused by the turnpike’s own effort to avoid privitization by passing Act 44 of 2007. It is now over $8 billion dollars in debt, a large part of which is for payments forwarded to pennDot and the inefficent, union controlled public transit agencies in philly and pittsburgh.

    • Mark Brennan says:

      All the things you mention ALL involve Democrats! Not one single Independant or Republican or Green Party member. All high falootin’ D’s were charged by a D attorney general. I agree that its time for change! Vote independant! Act 44? Blame Fast Eddie Spendell! Taxpayers were fleeced to foot the bill for SEPTA! Plain and simple! My nephew is a toll atendant at Breezewod. He applied on the website for his job. I asked him.

      • Jon Geeting says:

        It’s the highways bankrupting the state’s transportation budget, not SEPTA. Highway user fees don’t come anywhere close to paying for our highways.

    • Jon Geeting says:

      There’s no reason to privatize the Turnpike, we just need to automate all the toll collections.

  4. Patte says:

    Why would I want an EZ Pass when I only use the turnpike once a year at most? And why would I want to put the toll collectors out of work? We need MORE JOBS here in PA, not less!

    • Jon Geeting says:

      All the waiting in line at toll booths people do every day has serious consequences for the economy. Commute times will be shorter without the lines and unnecessary traffic jams, and the economic growth we’ll see from eliminating these delays far outweighs those 700 jobs. Fully automating tolling will also allow us to expand road fares to other busy highways and local roads besides the Turnpike, to reduce congestion there too.