EZpass Question

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mike Lenthol, Feb 14, 2002.

  1. Mike Lenthol

    Mike Lenthol Second Unit

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    Hey folks, I was wondering if anyone could help me with finding some info on the EZPass systems implemented in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

    What I'm looking for is information how the system works from the users perspective, how where when those devices are purchased, where placed in the car, how fast have to drive through the tolls, is it a flat rate system or does it count the number of times the card is used, if counted how are payment made, etc...

    Also what you like and don't like about the system.

    Just a few sentences.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Aurel Savin

    Aurel Savin Supporting Actor

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    Mike:

    Let me start of by saying that I love EZpass! I signed up about 2 years ago and it was $50 they took of my CC to "load" it.

    After that I believe when it reaches below $25 they charge you $25 to replenish it.

    Driving thru the gate is about 5 mph for me ... just slow enough to acknowledge the "GO EZPass" green light.

    Basically if you have it you are paying less toll than cash payers (in NY anyway) and rarely have to wait on line ... at least my longest wait has been less than a minute ... and this is in NY.

    I don't use it for my daily commute, but it's worth signing up for anyone. Honestly I always wonder when I see the long lines at the cash toll why everyone doesn't have them. They save you time and money ... so I don't see the drawbacks!

    Go for it!!!
     
  3. Bill_Weinreich

    Bill_Weinreich Second Unit

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    A friend of mine purchased his online using his credit card. It automatically charges your card when it reaches a certain amount. Its a small device that is velcroed in his windshield above his review mirror. Even though its registered to that car he occasionally uses it in other cars.(Holds it up in windshield when in EZ Pass lane). Here in DE. there are specific lanes just for EZ Pass and you can travel at normal highway speeds. Also each pass is less than the normal toll (I believe .80 instead of 1.00)

    Hope that helps.

    Bill
     
  4. Larry Price

    Larry Price Stunt Coordinator

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    Another satisfied user.
    When you sign up for it , they ask whether youre a commuter or casual user, depending on where you live
    (i.e. - in NY - we all get discounts for NY bridges and tunnels, but not for NJ or Penn).
    Most of your questions can probably be answered at
    www.ezpass.com.
    Also , you can sign up for online statements - no more receipts needed to throw in wallet, which is especially good for business expenses - just print out the statement.
     
  5. Mike Lenthol

    Mike Lenthol Second Unit

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    I need this info for a little research project, and trying to get personal viewpoints. Even if everybody is pretty content with the system, there must be something (even tiny) that you would of liked changed [​IMG] I’m all ears.
     
  6. Matt Birchall

    Matt Birchall Supporting Actor

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    We've got a system called "PikePass" here in Oklahoma (where "The Turnpike State" is our unofficial state nickname), and from what I've read in this thread, it's almost the same exact thing as an EZPass.
    I've been using PikePass for probably six years or so now, and don't have any complaints with it at all. Just replenished my account a couple of days ago, as a matter of fact. No lines, don't have to mess with change, saves time, saves money (Pikepass users do get charged a tad less on tolls compared to the regular users)--really can't think of any disadvantages to it at all. I use it so much, they even give me a "frequent use discount" every once in a while.
    The only thing that could even barely be construed as a negative is that because it's so convienient, I'll take the turnpike over regular streets more often for short distances, when I have the option. And that adds up over time, but it's easily worth it for me, because I can't stand stoplights and stop signs at all (who can, though, really?). [​IMG]
    Looking forward to the day when I can use my PikePass in other states when I'm travelling. I've been hearing that that was "in the works" for the past two or three years now. . .
    -mwb-
     
  7. Rob Lutter

    Rob Lutter Producer

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    down here in Florida... we have the SunPASS. Basically, it lets me drive through ANY Toll Plaza in the state of Florida at 35mph (it is a little computer you stick in your windshield).
    Pretty cool! [​IMG]
     
  8. Michael*K

    Michael*K Screenwriter

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    Here's what I don't like about it in Illinois:

    They use I-Pass to measure your time between toll booths and use the distance traveled to calculate your speed. If you were traveling more than 10 m.p.h. over the speed limit, they mail you a ticket.
     
  9. Joseph S

    Joseph S Cinematographer

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    Of course the best deal is to contact Gov. Jane Swift of MA and get one of the governmentally hacked EZPass transponders that don't charge a dime.
    She says they aren't using them anymore, so it's worth a shot. [​IMG]
    The best thing with the transponder is that you no longer will have to weave your way into the 1 cash lane out of 7. When I was visiting my parents this past Christmas I noticed that almost all lanes on the Mass Pike (US-90) had become EZ-Pass only.
     
  10. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Just to clarify about Mass: it's called the FastLane here. It works exactly the same as EZPass, and they are compatible.

    I live in Mass and commute. Though taking the Pike is a little longer than using the streets, I usually take it because the highway will be faster if there isn't a lot of traffic. The convenience of FastLane makes it that much easier.

    You can select different payment methods. I just gave them my checking account info and let them take out whatever theyn need every month. I look over the monthly statement briefly to make sure nothing went wrong. I've actually ridden in cars driven by people who have the FastLane but went to a cash lane because their account was low. Managing the account is the biggest inconvenience for those who insist on paying themselves. Frankly, I don't see the point. You're gonna give them your bank or credit card info anyway, right?

    Anyway, now I just zip through the Mass Pike toll boots, no problem. I also visit New York a lot. Since the FastLane can be used in NY and NJ, it makes the trip easier.

    A little-known fact about EZPass is that you can drive as fast as you want and it will still pick up your signal. The speed limits posted are for safety reasons only.

    There was an article explaining the technical aspects of EZPass a couple of issues ago in the "How Does It Work" section at the end of the mag. Try tracking it down if you're interested.
     
  11. Kevin P

    Kevin P Screenwriter

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    There's been talk of implementing EZPass in NH (right now we have discount tokens). I'm wondering, is it usable across states--if I got one (in NH, if/when it becomes available), could I use it in MA, NY, NJ, CT, etc?

    Also, what happens if your account is empty and you go through the EZpass lane? Does the light turn red? Do the cops come after you? Are you stuck there until an attendant comes over and collects cash?

    KJP
     
  12. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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  13. Jason Handy

    Jason Handy Second Unit

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    I have the SmartTag in Virginia, and it is implemented to a small extent all over the state; I use it to save 10% on my tolls to work.

    No complaints whatsoever. I think this is the most innovative advance in highway traffic management since freeways were first constructed. It has long been known (and those of you who have been on the Garden State Pkwy the day before Thanksgiving can back me up on this) that tolls are a HUGE source of traffic delays. Imagine a world where nobody had to stop, pay a toll, get change, and then accelerate back to cruising speed. We could save all kinds of travel time.

    OK, rant complete.
     
  14. SteveA

    SteveA Supporting Actor

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    I have SmartTag here in Virginia and here are two complaints (not major):

    1. Morons without Smart Tags constantly attempt to go through the lanes and are trapped by the gate for several minutes until an attendant lets them through.

    2. The transponder's batteries tend to die very suddenly - although they're supposed to last for 5 years. One day they work, the next day, you're sitting at a tollbooth gate with 20 people behind you honking - and nothing you can do but wait for an attendant.
     
  15. Steven K

    Steven K Supporting Actor

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    Definitely worth the effort to obtain one... I use mine all the time. The nicest aspect is the fact that it works all along the East Coast...
     
  16. Jason Handy

    Jason Handy Second Unit

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    Whoah Steve, I guess I have some interesting experiences ahead of me. I typically only use the Forest Hills - Powhite toll booth and they do not seem to have problems.
     
  17. Don Black

    Don Black Screenwriter

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    I refuse to use these devices on the grounds that they violate our privacy. The police use these devices all of the time to track people.

    I also object to the fact that a private company is sharing the revenue with the government on tolls. Lockheed Martin gets a kickback for every toll EZPass collects. Now imagine if they did this with photo radar?

    Cash please.
     
  18. Mike Lenthol

    Mike Lenthol Second Unit

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    Good points Don, and I was meaning to ask everybody: would you stop using EZpass if they were to adopt ticketing in your state? What if it was just 5 mph over? Or would it be out of principal?

    Don, by the way, in what way is Lockheed involved? Patents?
     
  19. Don Black

    Don Black Screenwriter

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    I believe that Lockheed created the FastTrack system which was the precursor to EZPass. They have a bunch of competitors now but still make a fair amount of money off of the system.
     
  20. Tom-G

    Tom-G Screenwriter

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