Transportation Systems Casebook/Tolling/E-ZPass

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E‑ZPass is an electronic toll collection system used on most tolled roads, bridges, and tunnels in the Midwestern and Eastern United States, as far south as Florida and as far west as Illinois. The E-ZPass Interagency Group (IAG) consists of 39 member agencies in operation within 17 states, which use the same technology and allow travelers to use the same transponder on toll roads throughout the network.

Disclaimer[edit]

So many service centers share the same trademark "E-ZPass". This book is to supplement but not replace their policies and guidelines that may vary and be changed at any time.

Choosing a service center[edit]

Choosing a service center to open an account requires considering which one is the most cost-efficient regarding the amounts of tolls and fees to pay, especially monthly account fees that may discourage infrequent road users. Living in one state does not require opening an account with the local service center. As many toll agencies limit discounts to accounts opened with their own service centers but not others, open accounts with more than one service center only if expecting frequent trips to avoid excessive burdens.

Opening an account[edit]

Opening an account after choosing which service center has some ways with pros and cons:

  1. Online application is usually the most convenient way, but getting toll tags by mail requires several days. #Visiting a service center or other approved retailers may get toll tags on the spot on business days, but to travel there may require considerable distances. When receiving toll tags on the spot, watch out for any delayed readiness.
  2. Faxing in an application requires manual process and several more days to receive toll tags.
  3. Mailing in an application requires several days to reach the receiver and several more days to receive toll tags.

Listing vehicles[edit]

List all vehicles to use the account, so if any toll tag fails to work, the vehicular registration number in the account may allow video tolling without billing the vehicular owner at higher cost. Account holder need not own the listed vehicles. Add any rental vehicle only when actually using it. Remove any vehicles when no longer using the account, like when returning a rental vehicle, to avoid incorrect billing.

Getting toll tags[edit]

Different service centers have different prices for toll tags:

  1. Some centers lease tags with monthly fees, so stopping the leasing fees require returning the tags in good condition.
  2. Some centers sell tags with one-time fees that may or may not be refundable when returning the tags. Even if non-refundable, carelessly throwing out tags when no longer using them may badly damage the environment.
  3. Some centers require a deposit per tag that must be returned in good condition to get a refund.
  4. Some centers lend tags for free if eventually returned in good condition.

Exterior tags mounted on the front bumpers should be avoided if at all possible. They are very vulnerable to vehicular collisions.

Payments[edit]

Different service centers require various minimum payments. Various ways to pay include these:

  1. Credit cards may be the easiest way to pay. Always keep the number and exoiring date up to date, including reporting any lost cards to their issuers. Some credit cards may offer big rewards, but do not prepay too much, or the reward may become lower than the interest earn from a bank deposit account. Avoid approaching the credit limit too closely, or the credit score may be lowered.
  2. Automatic payment from checking account requires care to avoid costly overdrafts.
  3. Mailing a check to pay requires several days.
  4. Paying cash may be limited to visiting a service center in person as mailing cash is not even secure.

Discounts[edit]

Different service centers have different plans that are not always available to accounts from other centers. Check carefully before opening multiple accounts that may require changing the tags on the road to maximize the discounts.

Approaching the tolling area[edit]

Tolling areas may have toll barriers with booths in toll plazas or cashless gantries. Mount the toll tags properly. Put tags not to be used in read-prevention bags. Always check the signs, signals and markings. Obey the speed limits as speeding may violate the terms and conditions of the accounts or even result in being stopped by the police on the spot.

Lost or stolen toll tags[edit]

Report lost or stolen toll tags at once to avoid paying for others' tolls and fees. These tags may be irreversibly deactivated to trigger violations if still used at tolling areas. Returning any found tags may or may not get a refund depending on who issued them.

Fees and discounts by state[edit]

State Monthly/annual fee(s) Deposit Minimum balance Discounts
Delaware[1] $8 annually for non-quarterly monthly statements, $0 for routine quarterly statements $15 per internal or external transponder (non-refundable) $10 minimum balance (account charged a replenishment amount based on monthly toll usage, with a minimum of $25) 50% off cash rates for Delaware SR‑1 when 30 or more qualifying trips are made by a two-axle passenger vehicle within a 30-day rolling period
Florida (E-PASS Xtra)[2] $0 monthly $18.50+tax $10 23% off cash rates in average on Central Florida Expressway roads
Illinois (I-PASS)[3] $0 monthly $10 per internal transponder (refundable) $10 minimum balance (account charged a minimum replenishment amount of $20 or an amount 10% of average monthly usage, whichever is higher) 50% off cash rate for all transponders (ISTHA tolls and passenger cars only)
Indiana (formerly i‑Zoom) $1 monthly per transponder $15 per internal transponder (non-refundable) $2.50 minimum balance (first 90 days), then $2.50 minimum balance or 25% of average monthly usage, whichever is greater (account is charged a minimum replenishment amount of $10 in the first 90 days, after which the minimum replenishment amount is based on the previous three months of usage on one's account and is recalculated on the first of each month, the minimum amount being $10). Manual replenishment for any amount is available via ITR website. No. Discounts were initially available, but were discontinued in 2017, following the expiration of a state subsidy program.[4]
Kentucky/Indiana (RiverLink) $0 monthly per transponder, $5 monthly after 12 consecutive months of no toll transactions + $2 for mailed or faxed statements $15 per internal (hard-case) transponder (non-refundable)[note 1] $20 initial minimum balance. Users can arrange for automatic credit card or ACH charges for replenishment; otherwise, the system sends reminders to replenish the account once the value drops below $10. Manual replenishment for any amount is available via RiverLink website. $2 discount per crossing for all transponders issued by any E-ZPass member (available for any vehicle type).
Discounts based on travel volume: For passenger vehicles only with locally issued transponders (both internal and stickers), the 40th crossing in a calendar month triggers a 50% discount from the regular transponder price, applied to all crossings (previous and future) in that calendar month.
Maine[5] $0 monthly $17 per external transponder (non-refundable)

$10 per internal transponder (non-refundable)
$15 minimum balance (account is charged a minimum replenishment amount of $20 when one's account drops below minimum balance) Discounts based on travel volume: 30–39 account trips per month will equal a 25% discount applied to monthly account trips. 40+ account trips per month will equal a 50% discount applied to monthly account trips. For less than 30 account trips per month, Maine E-ZPass customers pay slightly less than cash rate. Other transponders pay cash rate.
Maryland[6][7] $1.50 monthly for non-residents only, effective July 1, 2015, waived if three Maryland E‑ZPass tolls incurred during the previous month; $0 for residents[8] Effective May, 23, 2018, internal non-"Flex" transponders are free of charge

$33 per external transponder (non-refundable)

$40 per internal FUSION CVO (PrePass & E-ZPass all-in-one) transponder

$18 per internal E-ZPass Flex transponder (for use on I-495 Express Lanes)
$10 minimum balance (account is charged a minimum replenishment amount of $25 or an amount equal to one's average monthly usage, whichever is higher) Discounts available to Maryland E‑ZPass users only. 10% to 37.5% discount off the passenger vehicle cash rate at all Maryland toll facilities.[9] Various other plans available for bridges and regions.
Massachusetts (formerly Fast Lane)[10] $0 monthly if monthly statements by e-mail $0 per internal transponder $20 minimum balance (account is charged a replenishment amount whenever the balance falls below $10, replenishing the account to a balance of $20) Out-of-state E-ZPass: 30¢ discount at Sumner and Ted Williams tunnels and Tobin Memorial Bridge. Massachusetts E-ZPass: 55¢ discount at Sumner and Ted Williams Tunnels, 30¢ discount at Tobin Bridge. [11]

With special transponder obtained by application: Residents of Charlestown and Chelsea pay $0.15 on Tobin Bridge. Residents of East Boston, South Boston, and the North End pay $0.20 at Sumner and Ted Williams tunnels. [12]

New Hampshire[13] $1 per month for paper statements after year 1[14]
$0 per month for email statements
$7.40 per internal transponder (non-refundable)

$13.49 per external transponder (non-refundable)

$.50 per month to lease transponder
$30 minimum balance (account is charged a minimum replenishment amount of $30 in the first 35 days, after which the minimum replenishment amount is based on the previous three months of usage on one's account, the minimum amount being $30) 30% off cash rate for NH transponders only. Other transponders pay cash rate.
New Jersey $1 per month membership fee + $1 bimonthly for print/email statements $10 per internal transponder (refundable) or $0 if credit or direct debit replenishment. $10 or 25% of one's replenishment threshold, whichever is greater (account is charged a minimum replenishment amount of $25 in the first 90 days, after which the minimum replenishment amount is based on the previous three months of usage on one's account, the minimum amount being $25) Various discounts for NJ transponders only, including an approximate 25% off-peak auto discount on the New Jersey Turnpike and lesser peak and off-peak discounts for trucks and buses. Other transponders and autos during peak period pay cash rate. No auto or bus discount on the Garden State Parkway; however, truck tolls are discounted about 5% during the off peak period on the portion that permits their access.[15]
New York[16] $1 monthly Port Authority of New York and New Jersey account service fee ($0 for Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Thruway, or Bridge Authority accounts) + $6 annually for monthly paper statements ($0 for email statements) $10 per internal transponder (refundable) or $0 if auto-replenish or pay per trip with a credit card backup $30 minimum balance (account is charged a minimum replenishment amount of $25 or an amount equal to one's average usage in a 90‑day period, whichever is higher) or $0 minimum balance for pay per trip At all Port Authority facilities, E‑ZPass discounts are available. At MTA Bridges and Tunnels, E-ZPass discounts for tags issued by the New York E-ZPass Customer Service Center (NY E-ZPass) range from 32% to 56%. At most facilities, NY E-ZPass tolls are $3.38 less than Tolls by Mail rates (all of its facilities are open road cashless tolling). NY E-ZPass rates are $6.76 off for a round-trip at the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge and a $2.46 discount at the Marine Parkway–Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge and Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge. At the Henry Hudson Bridge, NY E-ZPass gives a $4.20 discount. At all New York State Thruway and New York State Bridge Authority facilities, E‑ZPass discounts apply. Discount rates apply only to customer tags issued by a New York E-ZPass Customer Service Center, not out-of-state E-ZPass holders.

NY now also offers a Pay-Per-Trip option for total tolls to transact on a daily basis directly via the checking account linked per tag. It is optional (yet recommended) that a credit card be kept on file, but monthly balances are not required under this new payment option in New York.[17][18]

North Carolina (Quick Pass)[19] $0 monthly, $1 monthly after 12 consecutive months of no toll transactions ($5 Mail Statements) Free: NC Quick Pass Sticker (works in NC and with GA Peach Pass and FL Sun Pass; E-ZPass will not accept sticker)



$7.40+Tax for NC Quick Pass E-ZPass Interior Transponder (works in NC and with FL Sun Pass, GA Peach Pass, and E-ZPass)


$16.49 +Tax for NC Quick Pass E-ZPass Flex Transponder (works in NC and with GA Peach Pass, FL Sun Pass, and E-ZPass, plus NC and E-ZPass Managed HOV/HOT Lanes.)

$20 minimum balance, up to five transponders total. (Account is charged a minimum replenishment amount of $20 or when account balance is 25% of one's replenishment threshold, based on the previous three months of usage, whichever is greater.) A $5.00 charge will occur if transponder is not present 15% of the time you pass a toll. Discounts available to all E-ZPass, NC Quick Pass, SunPass, and Peach Pass users; percentage varies by exit.
Ohio[20] $0.75 monthly (waived for those who use their E-ZPass for 30 or more trips in a month on the Ohio Turnpike) $0 per internal transponder ($25 replacement fee within first four years) $25 minimum balance per transponder (account is charged a minimum replenishment amount based on the previous three months of usage, or the amount needed to return the account balance to $25.00 per transponder, whichever is greater) Ohio discount available to all transponders. Percentage varies by exit (0–35%).
Pennsylvania[21] $3 annually per transponder, $4 per month for monthly paper statements $10 per internal transponder (refundable) or $0 if credit or direct debit replenishment $10 per transponder. Account is charged a minimum replenishment amount of $35 whenever the balance reaches a total value of $10 or less ($15 or less for manual replenishment accounts) per transponder. If one's account requires more than the allowed replenishments in a one-month cycle (2 times for credit cards and 3 times for ACH), the amount of replenishment will switch to average usage. 35% discount off cash rate to all E-Z Pass transponders.
Rhode Island[22] $0 monthly if monthly statements by e-mail $20.95 per internal transponder (purchase required)

$33.04 per external transponder (purchase required)
$25 minimum balance per transponder (account is charged a minimum replenishment amount based on the previous 45-days of usage and is recalculated every 90-days, or the amount needed to return the account balance to $25.00 per transponder, whichever is greater) $0.83 per car on the Claiborne Pell Newport Bridge toll for Rhode Island residents only (as opposed to the normal $2/axle)
Virginia[23] $0 monthly, as of July 1, 2014. $10 one-time "transponder functionality upgrade charge" if an E-ZPass Flex transponder is not used for an HOV transaction within a 12-month period.[24] $35 per internal transponder $10 minimum balance per transponder (account is charged a minimum replenishment amount of $35 per transponder or an amount equal to one's average monthly usage, whichever is higher) Discounts for Virginia E-ZPass users only


Chesapeake Expressway, enrollment and monthly fee required


Dulles Greenway, enrollment and minimum of 180 trips annually required

West Virginia[25] $5 annually for "prepaid" plan (includes free use of the North Beckley ramp on the West Virginia Turnpike). Flat rate, unlimited use plans range from $5 to $285 for various parts of the West Virginia Turnpike. $10 per internal transponder $10 minimum balance (Account is charged a minimum replenishment amount of $20. No balance needed with annual WV unlimited plan) Effective January 11, 2019: Tolls on West Virginia Turnpike will be $12.00 for full ride (3 Plazas $4.00 EA. Cars Only) of the turnpike. Annual Pass is offered for cars only. ($24+ $13 Transponder charge for Annual Pass for 3 years if purchased before 1/11/2019) ($25 Per year after Early enrollment + $13 Transponder Fee.)
Notes
  1. Sticker transponders are available at no charge, but these are incompatible with E-ZPass and will only work at the three tolled Ohio River bridges in the Louisville area.
  1. Delaware: FAQ
  2. E-Pass Xtra
  3. [1] Template:Webarchive
  4. "Indiana Toll Road drivers using E-ZPass transponders see big rate increase". Chicago Tribune. June 1, 2017. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/midwest/indiana/ct-indiana-toll-road-rate-increase-20170601-story,amp.html. 
  5. "Frequently Asked Questions". https://ezpassmaineturnpike.com/EZPass/info/faqs.jsp#q37. 
  6. http://www.ezpassmd.com/en/about/Attention_E-ZPass_Customers_2.pdf
  7. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-11-11. https://web.archive.org/web/20111111164102/http://www.mdta.maryland.gov/Toll_Increase/documents/Customer_Letter.pdf. Retrieved 2011-12-04. 
  8. "MDTA News Releases". http://www.mdta.maryland.gov/News/MDTA_News_Releases/governor-hogan-rolls-back-tolls-statewide-saving-marylanders-54-million-a-year. 
  9. Pile-Beaton, Roxanne. "MdTA toll rates". http://www.mdta.maryland.gov/Toll_Rates/rates_Index.html. 
  10. "E-ZPass MA Program - Highway Division - MassDOT". http://www.massdot.state.ma.us/Highway/fastlane/fees.aspx. 
  11. "E-ZPass MA - Toll Calculator - MassDOT". https://www.ezdrivema.com/TollCalculator. 
  12. "E-ZPass MA - Special Programs - MassDOT". https://www.ezdrivema.com/E-ZPass-MA/Special-Programs. 
  13. "E-ZPass Program - Turnpikes - NH Department of Transportation". http://www.nh.gov/dot/org/operations/turnpikes/ezpass/index.htm. 
  14. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-31. https://web.archive.org/web/20160331085218/https://www.ezpassnh.com/en/about/i_terms.pdf. Retrieved 2016-02-09. 
  15. "New Jersey Turnpike Toll Rates". http://www.state.nj.us/turnpike/toll-rates.html#calc. 
  16. "E-ZPass® New York - Terms & Conditions - Individual Accounts". http://www.e-zpassny.com/en/about/terms_popup_ind.shtml. 
  17. e-zpassny.com
  18. "E-ZPass® New York - PAY PER TRIP FAQ". https://www.e-zpassny.com/en/faq/paypertrip.shtml. 
  19. NC Quick Pass. Myncquickpass.com. Retrieved on 2013-07-23.
  20. Ohio Turnpike users can set up E-ZPass accounts in other states, possibly pay less | cleveland.com. Blog.cleveland.com. Retrieved on 2013-07-23.
  21. "Personal FAQ". http://www.paturnpike.com/ezpass/personalfaq.htm#paymentmethods. 
  22. [2] Template:Webarchive
  23. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-03-22. https://web.archive.org/web/20120322072118/https://www.ezpassva.com/forms/agreement.pdf. Retrieved 2011-09-22. 
  24. "E-ZPass Flex". https://www.ezpassva.com/EZPages/New-Flex.aspx. Retrieved 2019-06-17. 
  25. E-Z Pass FAQ Template:Webarchive