MassDOT Encouraging Motorists to Sign Up for E-Z Pass

The E-ZPass mobile van outside Market Basket Friday afternoon.

E-ZPass mobile van outside Market Basket Friday afternoon.

While the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) announced plans are underway for the implementation of All Electronic Tolling (AET) on the Tobin Bridge, MassDOT’s mobile E-Z Pass van was out in Chelsea encouraging motorists to sign up for the program.

The van was outside Market Basket last Friday.

The mobile van offers potential customers the ability to establish an E-ZPass account, to receive activated transponders on the spot, and to learn more about electronic tolling throughout the northeast. Existing E-ZPass customers can update account information, purchase additional transponders, obtain Velcro, or receive Mylar No-Read bags for their transponders.

“With the implementation of this innovative form of toll collection we are saying to our customers that their time is valuable,” said MassDOT Secretary & CEO Richard A. Davey. “We are also increasing safety and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by cutting congestion and the time spent idling at the cash booth.”

Beginning early in 2014, motorists will no longer have the option to stop at a toll booth and pay cash for their Tobin Bridge toll. Tolls will be collected electronically in one of two ways: either through the motorist’s E-ZPass transponder or via a program in which a camera captures the license plate and the vehicle’s registered owner is billed by mail. A contractor has been selected to install the gantry or overhead collection system and work is beginning to support the technical back-office operations.

Over the past year MassDOT has been encouraging motorists to join E-ZPass in advance of the transition by putting these a new mobile E-ZPass registration vehicle on the road this summer to reach those motorists still using cash.

Despite the introduction of transponders and electronic toll collection in the late 1990s, a significant portion of Tobin Bridge customers still elect to pay with cash. In 2012, there were 4.1 million cash transactions on the Tobin Bridge, an average of more than 11,000 each day.

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