E-ZPass

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Jonathon Tillman, Nov 7, 2006.

  1. Jonathon Tillman

    Jonathon Tillman Stunt Coordinator

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    E-ZPass,

    Anyone use it? What are your experiences with the system?

    Just signed up for one transponder because I am going to be doing some traveling for business for about a month using the turnpike and figured it would be easier and faster to use E-ZPass than to carry change around with me.

    They charge $4 per transponder and $35 to open an account and charge your transponder with money for the tolls. If your account balance goes below $10 and your signed up for automatic replenishment then they will charge your credit card for another $35 depending on how much you use it.

    I didn't read the fine print but it turns out that they charge a fee for the transponder to be read each time you go through that is equal to the toll charge.

    I think it might be easier to just pay with change.
     
  2. Mike~Sileck

    Mike~Sileck Supporting Actor

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    Best toll system ever.

    Once you use it you'll never go back.

    You can ever use it some places now to pay for parking..

    It's a God-send, and it'll cut time off your commute....
     
  3. Michael_K_Sr

    Michael_K_Sr Screenwriter

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    This certainly isn't the case in the Chicago area where cash paying drivers face long lines to pass through the tollbooths, while the I-PASS users have booth free lanes that allow drivers to drive past at highway speeds. Even worse for people not on the transponder bandwagon...cash paying customers pay DOUBLE the toll charges that I-PASS users do.
     
  4. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    E-ZPass is just awesome.
     
  5. nolesrule

    nolesrule Producer

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    In Florida we have the Sunpass, which can be used on almost all toll roads and many toll bridges, and even pays for parking at the Airport in Orlando. It's a great system, especially in areas where we have the bypass lanes that avoid the tollbooths completely. No slowing down, no fishing for change, and if used frequently, you get a discount.

    Some tollbooths offer a straight discount for using Sunpass. Others that tie into the turnpike system give a 10% discount after paying 40 tolls in a month. That's easy too do if you have to use toll roads to commute to work.
     
  6. Chris Lockwood

    Chris Lockwood Producer

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    > I think it might be easier to just pay with change.

    How do you figure that?


    > No slowing down

    I can't believe you say that, considering I'm in the same county, and if you don't slow down in the Sunpass lanes you're likely to hit the gate.
     
  7. Joseph S

    Joseph S Cinematographer

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    Don't know about Florida, but Chicago has "open road" tolling in several spots not only without gates but also with standard highway lanes. Others are still standard minus the gates. Boston varies. In some spots you get gridlock because of exits being too close to the toll booths like 95 off of 90 with 3 different options a few feet away.
     
  8. nolesrule

    nolesrule Producer

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    The gates depend on the tollbooths and roads. Some roads have the bypass lanes like the Suncoast Parkway section of SR 589, while others in the tollbooths may or may not have the gate like the Veterans Expressway portion of 589 and the Selmon Expressway. For the Sunpass lanes where you have to pass through a tollbooth, yeah, you have to slow down...the posted speed limit is 25.

    When I drive up to Tallahassee for FSU games like I am doing every weekend this month, I take 589 up to Citrus County to bypass all the heavy traffic areas on US-19, so I'm familiar with both types of Sunpass lanes. It saves 30 minutes of traffic lights, so the $4.50 is worth it. It's also 60 miles shorter than taking the Interstate by taking SR 589 & US-19, so the cost of the toll road is made up for by the savings in gas.
     
  9. Paul D G

    Paul D G Screenwriter

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    It sounds like there is a surcharge every time the transponder is read so the toll is essentially doubled (as posted by the OP). So if there's no open road tolling (as there is here in Chicago), and the toll is double if you use a transponder, where's the benefit? And if there's no open road tolling then it sounds like you still have to wait in queue anyway.

    As Joseph noted, in Illinois the tolls are twice as much if you pay cash. I don't need to use the toll roads that much but it's foolish not to have one just for the 50% savings.

    -paul
     
  10. John Alvarez

    John Alvarez Screenwriter

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    I drive from St. Augustine to Miami a lot and use the Turnpike a lot along with toll roads in Miami. Sunpass is great and they are slowly tearing down the gated lanes to make way for high speed lanes.
     
  11. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    Check PA's rules about monthly charges. I believe in NJ and NY there is a $1 per month charge in addition to your normal usage for the Sle...I mean EZ pass.

    There was so much corruption with the EZ-Pass system in NJ when it was installed, there used to be a discount because they figured the whole system would be installed for free because the toll cheats would be fined which would pay for the installation. Of course, so many people didn't pay at the beginning and they had system flaws that they never collected on millions of fines so who is left to pay for this thing? taxpayers and other EZ pass users. Now there is a $1/month charge unless you can register in DE which is free.

    And of course, during busy summer months where the EZ pass system seems like it would be beneficial the best, you still have to wait because of the gazillion of cars clogging all the lanes anyway. To me, I simply go around any toll charging road in NJ to make it not worth my $1 surcharge and I don't go on any toll to commute even when I do drive to work.

    Jay
     
  12. Michael_K_Sr

    Michael_K_Sr Screenwriter

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    Sounds to me like the only charge is that of the regular toll.
     
  13. RichP

    RichP Second Unit

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    [​IMG] I'll wave to you when you're stuck in the cash lane while I fly by with my EZ-Pass.
     
  14. LewB

    LewB Screenwriter

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    I belive that $1/month fee only applies to folks who got their EZ pass thru the TBTA (local NY bridge and tunnel agency). You sign up for a discount on any of their bridges ?
    I got mine thru the N.Y. State thruway authority and I am not paying the $1 a month fee. Check the online agreement.
    I love it, best thing since canned beer. Even better when going thru the new 'high speed' toll lanes that are being put in. The only PITA about is is the jockeying that goes on at the toll plaza as people attempt to get in and out of the EZ pass lanes.
     
  15. DaveHo

    DaveHo Supporting Actor

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    I travel the PA turnpike every day & use EZ-Pass. Unless they have recently upped it, there is a $3 per year per transponder fee. There are no other fees other than the toll charges. Each time you go through the tolls the same amount as a cash customer would pay gets deducted from your account balance. Assuming you have the account linked to a credit card, when the balance gets below $10, they charge your card $35 per transponder which then gets added to your account balance.

    It took me couple of months to get around to signing up for EZ-Pass. After getting it, I kicked myself for waiting so long. It's definitely quicker at the tolls, especially if you are going through Valley Forge. Not to mention when the weather sucks, like today, you don't have to roll down your window & get all wet, full of snow, etc. Less wear & tear on your power window motors too. I'd never go back to paying cash.

    -Dave
     
  16. nolesrule

    nolesrule Producer

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    In Florida, it costs $50 to get the Sunpass. $25 as a one-time transponder fee, and $25 to start your balance. You can manually replenish the balance or set up automatic replenishment on the Sunpass website, and you can even pick the low balance and replenishment amounts depending on your usage.
     
  17. Mort Corey

    Mort Corey Supporting Actor

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    Curious.....not many toll roads (least that I know of) here on the left coast. Are toll roads the main arteries or are there alternatives and the toll road just quicker?

    Mort
     
  18. Michael Harris

    Michael Harris Screenwriter

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    I live in VA put purchased my EZ Pass at a rest stop on the PA Turnpike from an automated kiosk. The biggest reason I did that was to avoid VA's monthly $1.00 surcharge. I'm so glad I got one. Besides making trips on the PA Turnpike, I drive a lot from VA to CT on I95 and managed to save a good amount of time, all things being equal. I really enjoy passing by the long line of cars at the last exit of the NJ Turnpike. Of course I'm dreading the holiday rush this Thanksgiving where EZ Pass won't make any difference at all.
     
  19. Bonnie*F

    Bonnie*F Stunt Coordinator

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    Had an E-ZPass from NYS for over 10 years. The first time that my wait at the Buffalo, NY Exit was less than 15 minutes (it was like 2!) - that sold me on the EZPass. I've had it replaced once. No problems. My replishment amounts and where it replenishes dropped drastically when I stopped running between Syracuse and Buffalo or Syracuse and Rochester. I've got a direct withdrawl from my checking account when ever it falls below $4. And the replenish amount is $15.00. I use it a fraction of the time I used to but they have never charged me for just having one and not using it.
    Every once in while, I still have to drive to Pittsburgh, Boston or down to Baltimore and the E-Z Pass is accepted at pretty much everything that has tolls. I think there is only one spot in PA it wasn't and that was 2 years ago.
    Now, all the change that was cluttering up the ashtray (that's what they're for - right?) is rolled and deposited to a savings account twice a year. [​IMG]
     
  20. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    Many of the cross state roads have tolls, like the NJ Turnpike and I-95, which runs all the way from Maine to florida and the Garden State Parkway... the Mass Pike.. All have tolls so each state or states have their own system which is increasingly compatible with another state so you don't have to have 3 transponders to say go from NJ, to MA, to ME.

    There are many state highways to bypass the toll roads but in general, given equal traffic, the toll roads would be the fastest to go cross state and hence their usage is high and it is a toll road. In the summer though, all bets are off and this is frequently not the case!

    Jay
     

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