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East Coasters: Teach me about EZ-Pass


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30 replies to this topic

#1 of 31 OFFLINE   Jay H

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Posted January 07 2008 - 12:13 AM

With the 10% discount for EZ-Pass users on the NYS Thruway, I'm sort of looking into getting a transponder. However, I've been researching different state's EZ Pass systems, do I have to sign up for EZ Pass with the state that I reside in or can I sign up say from Delaware since the EZ Pass system is shared on most of the interstates in NJ/NY/DE/MA, etc. ????

I know in NJ, there is a $1 per month fee for EZ Pass which negates all the benefits of 10% off the tolls since I am not a daily user (i.e. I don't commute on any toll road and even then, I bike to work anyway.). My weekend trips up north do, but like I said, they are only weekend trips. The times when EZ pass is useful to save on toll time is the time usually I bypass the entire ugly mess by going around the stupid tolls because EZ Pass or not, if the toll lanes are backed up for 2 miles before or after the tolls, EZ-Pass is not going to help much.

Is there a state with no month fees (other than the toll itself and/or a deposit for the transponder) and if so, can anybody sign up there???

Jay
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#2 of 31 OFFLINE   JeremyErwin

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Posted January 07 2008 - 02:32 AM

state by state fees

#3 of 31 OFFLINE   Jay H

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Posted January 07 2008 - 03:03 AM

So, I guess that is a yes (i.e. you don't have to sign up with the state you live in)?? Looks like the Delaware River Joint toll Bridge Authority is the best place to sign up for. no initial or monthly fee...

Jay
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#4 of 31 OFFLINE   Michael Harris

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Posted January 07 2008 - 08:14 AM

I am a Virginia resident but I got my EZ Pass on the Pennsylvania Turnpike because their fee was much lower than Virginia's. As long as they get my money, PA certainly doesn't care.

#5 of 31 OFFLINE   Adam Lenhardt

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Posted January 07 2008 - 08:53 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay H
So, I guess that is a yes (i.e. you don't have to sign up with the state you live in)?? Looks like the Delaware River Joint toll Bridge Authority is the best place to sign up for. no initial or monthly fee...

Jay
I signed up a year or so ago just for the occasional road trip I do. The New York State Thruway Authority has the same deal as the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Authority: no fees, neither monthly nor initial, if you pay by credit card. In fact, until this thread I had no idea any authority charged a fee.

You can sign up through the NYS Thruway at either the New Baltimore rest stop gift shop, Guilderland rest stop gift shop, Port Byron rest stop gift shop, Scottsville rest stop gift shop, Pattersonville rest stop gift shop, Seneca rest stop gift shop, Angola rest stop gift shop, or Clarence rest stop gift shop. They'll hand you your transpoder right away at any of these locations.

You can also sign up through the Thruway Authority here:
E-ZPass - Sign Up Now!

The terms and conditions say nothing about having to live within New York State. That makes sense when you think about the number of Canadians that cross the border and make use of E-ZPass.

EDIT: I see that the account service fee is now a PANYNJ fee. Here's the Joint Bridge Authority sign-up:
E-ZPass - Sign Up Now!

#6 of 31 OFFLINE   Michael_K_Sr

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Posted January 07 2008 - 10:41 AM

10%? I'm surprised they get anyone to sign up at all, especially if there is a monthly fee for the transponder. Here in Illinois the discount is 50% so there's a much higher adoption rate.

#7 of 31 OFFLINE   Greg*go

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Posted January 07 2008 - 11:15 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael_K_Sr
10%? I'm surprised they get anyone to sign up at all, especially if there is a monthly fee for the transponder. Here in Illinois the discount is 50% so there's a much higher adoption rate.

I have EZ Pass, and use primarily the PA Turnpike & NJ/PA bridges . I couldn't care less about the discount, that's just the gravy. The real advantage is whizzing by all the people that are stuck at the tolls.

I could be wrong, but I think you only get the "commuter discount" for the authority that you get the EZ pass with. You may want to look into that before you sign up with a state you don't use.

I have it set up with the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission, and I get $0.15 off my $0.75 toll coming into PA. I know I don't get a discount on DE Route 1, or on 95 in MD. I have no idea what the current normal toll prices are on the PA Turnpike, so I can't tell if I get a discount there.
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#8 of 31 OFFLINE   Greg_R

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Posted January 07 2008 - 12:11 PM

My parents got one in MD and it was free. All of these passes require a deposit of $$$ into your 'account' (i.e. you are pre-paying, not post-paying your tolls). Once it dips down to a certain level, your credit card gets charged a preset amount to 'recharge' the account.

Ohio needs to get off their butt and add this system... they are surrounded by other states who are using EZ pass and they are still stuck in the toll booth age.

#9 of 31 OFFLINE   Jay H

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Posted January 07 2008 - 11:49 PM

The NJ EZPass and the NY Port Authority (not the same as NY State EZPASS) charge $1 per month.

the whole scam (and NJ is nothing but corruption and scams) is that NJ put in the EZPass system thinking that it will pay for itself by getting deadbeats and people who try to go through the EZpass lanes w/o a transponder to pay fines and stuff. But for some stupid reason or some legal reason, the state never bothered to really follow up on getting folks to pay and courts are expensive anyway for what.... the odd $1-$5 toll or so... or 35cents on the Garden State Parkway. So, in some infinite wisdom, NJ decided a bit ago to start charging $1/month for each EZ Pass holder as some way to get money.

Of course, most of us aren't idiots, why on earth would somebody sign up for NJ EZPass when you can simply sign up in another state and get it free. Some states charge an initial one-time fee but many do not... I just signed up for the Delaware Joint Bridge Toll Authoritz EZpass and it should arrive soon.

I guess if I needed it right away I could get it at some of the NY Thruway rest areas as Adam says but I just went through the website. Nowhere on the website it says you have to be a resident but they do have a little pulldown menu that is kind of vague and I am still confused that one state can have fees and other states don't and people will still sign up for the fee.

The only reason I can think of anybody signing up in NJ is if there is a good discount plan and you're a commuter who drives on toll roads. Other than that, it doesn't make any sense to me.

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#10 of 31 OFFLINE   Jay H

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Posted January 15 2008 - 04:39 AM

So, got EZpass on friday, used it this weekend...

How long did it take for you guys to get your internet account access setup? I can't log into my account via the internet, my PIN doesn't work and I had them email my "new password" via their link only to never get any email...

I called up their access line, got in via my PIN and my balance seems to be higher than it should.

I used the toll on sunday 1/13 in the afternoon and called my account Monday 1/14 around 8pm. Does it take a while for a toll to get posted and my account updated? it seems to have missed at least one of my tolls as it should be something like $17 and not $21 as my account said on monday night..

Jay
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#11 of 31 OFFLINE   Dennis Nicholls

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Posted January 15 2008 - 05:24 AM

It's odd how some authorities share systems.

Both the CA BART system and the DC Metro system use identical fare cards. Or at least they sure look the same. After coming back from a DC business trip I had several dollars left on a Metro fare card. I put it into a BART terminal to see what would happen, and the message flashed "WRONG SYSTEM". Posted Image
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#12 of 31 OFFLINE   Greg*go

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Posted January 15 2008 - 01:53 PM

Sometimes it takes 24 hours before I'll see something on there. I don't check it online very often often. I have it with DRJTBA too. From what I remember, I was able to get on right away.

Their website is annoying, which is why I don't check it often. Sometimes I don't see it register as I drive by, but I guess they just add it to my acct by checking my license plate.

Do you get discounts on the other tolls that aren't part of the DRJTBA?
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#13 of 31 OFFLINE   Jay H

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Posted January 16 2008 - 12:11 AM

Dateline tuesday: finally able to log into my internet account and see both fridays and sunday's toll on the NYS Thruway properly charged, I guess it takes a bit for it to post. However, I also saw a post on Jan 10th from the NJ Turnpike by Giant Stadium so I called the DJBTC folks and had them credit my account for that amt.

I'm kind of wondering if it happen to be in the mail carrier on the 10th and that truck went through an EZpass lane, that it could of activated even if it was in the mailbag or whatever... Are these transceivers RF or line of sight? Could it have possibly been activated while in transit to my house via the postal service?

However, it only activated one of the tags as I got two tags... strange.

[edit ] Come to think of it, it was shipped in a small manila envelop and it had one of those electrostatic ESD bags, however, the transponders weren't inside it (go figure). I gather the ESD bag supposedly shields the transceiver from the receiver but since it wasn't inside the bag, I bet one of my transceivers was activated while the bag might of shielded the other one...

Jay
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#14 of 31 OFFLINE   Lee L

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Posted January 21 2008 - 06:49 AM

My Father In Law had the same thing happen. He was going to be travelling up north on and off so he ordered and EZ Pass. It came out of the bag and he got hit for several tolls on the way down I95. He called and they refunded them after a little back and forth.
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#15 of 31 OFFLINE   michaelegan9988

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Posted January 26 2008 - 04:36 AM

ANY E-ZPASS ANYWHERE

You can open an E-ZPass account with any member of the Interagency Group, it doesn’t matter where you live. You are not required to maintain you account with an agency in you home state. You can get a free transponder and avoid those pesky account maintenance fees by opening an account with one of the following agencies: the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission the Maryland Transportation Authority, the Peace Bridge Authority of NY & ON, and the Illinois Tollway. The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission charges an annual account fee of $3.00, however their transponders are free, they do not have any other fees.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay H
With the 10% discount for EZ-Pass users on the NYS Thruway, I'm sort of looking into getting a transponder. However, I've been researching different state's EZ Pass systems, do I have to sign up for EZ Pass with the state that I reside in or can I sign up say from Delaware since the EZ Pass system is shared on most of the interstates in NJ/NY/DE/MA, etc. ????

I know in NJ, there is a $1 per month fee for EZ Pass which negates all the benefits of 10% off the tolls since I am not a daily user (i.e. I don't commute on any toll road and even then, I bike to work anyway.). My weekend trips up north do, but like I said, they are only weekend trips. The times when EZ pass is useful to save on toll time is the time usually I bypass the entire ugly mess by going around the stupid tolls because EZ Pass or not, if the toll lanes are backed up for 2 miles before or after the tolls, EZ-Pass is not going to help much.

Is there a state with no month fees (other than the toll itself and/or a deposit for the transponder) and if so, can anybody sign up there???

Jay


#16 of 31 OFFLINE   Jay H

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Posted February 05 2008 - 02:48 AM

Thanks Michael, I gathered that data before I got my transponder from the Delaware River JTC. I used it alot this past week when I drove to Baxter State park in Maine... seems like most states have 10-15mph EZ pass lanes but NJ is still stuck with 5mph lanes... What is with that although the two Fast EZ pass 60mph lanes are also in NJ, it seems like the next logical step would be to engineer faster EZpass lanes without compromising safety (with the non-EZ pass users who still have to stop and pay).

Jay
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#17 of 31 OFFLINE   Adam Lenhardt

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Posted February 05 2008 - 05:35 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay H
Thanks Michael, I gathered that data before I got my transponder from the Delaware River JTC. I used it alot this past week when I drove to Baxter State park in Maine... seems like most states have 10-15mph EZ pass lanes but NJ is still stuck with 5mph lanes... What is with that although the two Fast EZ pass 60mph lanes are also in NJ, it seems like the next logical step would be to engineer faster EZpass lanes without compromising safety (with the non-EZ pass users who still have to stop and pay).
New York and New Jersey pioneered the system. For this reason, these two states are stuck with the most obsolete lanes. NY and NJ did the innovation which the other states that joined up later benefited from.

#18 of 31 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted February 06 2008 - 01:27 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Lenhardt
New York and New Jersey pioneered the system. For this reason, these two states are stuck with the most obsolete lanes. NY and NJ did the innovation which the other states that joined up later benefited from.
I've been wondering why NY has mostly 5mph lanes -- 20mph lanes are rare -- while Orlando, FL has its 50mph SunCoast toll system.

When I drive I90, I often wonder if the value of tolls to the state are offset by the cost of everyone coming to a stop every 10 miles on the expressway.

#19 of 31 OFFLINE   Jay H

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Posted February 06 2008 - 01:39 AM

I may be wrong but I think most of the other states in the NE have EZ-Pass in all lanes, whereas NY/NJ has specific lanes that are EZPASS and the toll lanes don't have the sensors..

I was confused when i was exiting to I-295South near Augusta, ME when they had a sign saying the EZ Pass lanes were closed and I got to the toll and was fiddling around with my wallet trying to get a dollar bill out and then the light turns green... oops, fortunately I saw it and didn't pay twice.

Jay
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#20 of 31 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted February 06 2008 - 06:17 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay H
I may be wrong but I think most of the other states in the NE have EZ-Pass in all lanes, whereas NY/NJ has specific lanes that are EZPASS and the toll lanes don't have the sensors..

I was confused when i was exiting to I-295South near Augusta, ME when they had a sign saying the EZ Pass lanes were closed and I got to the toll and was fiddling around with my wallet trying to get a dollar bill out and then the light turns green... oops, fortunately I saw it and didn't pay twice.

Jay
I think NY has EZ Pass for all lanes, not just those marked, at least on I90.


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