More than half the trucks on the New Jersey Turnpike will use the new E-Zpass automated toll system when it goes online in August. That’s the word from Turnpike Authority’s executive director, Ed Gross, who has overseen the much-delayed E-Zpass installation.
"It will transform the road," Gross told The Record
of Hackensack. "When people think of the Turnpike and having to pay their tolls at 8 a.m., they expect to be delayed, and that expectation will disappear."
New Jersey Motor Truck Assn. President Sam Cunninghame agrees that many truckers will adopt E-Zpass. At least a "significant number" of his members will, and for good reason.
According to Cunninghame, fleets that currently have charge accounts with the Turnpike will be given E-Zpass with no change in the way their accounts work. In other words, said Cunninghame, they will have 30 days to pay their tolls. All other E-ZPass customers have to put up money first, establishing prepaid accounts from which tolls are deducted. Unfortunately, he said, the special deal is a “grandfather” arrangement for current Turnpike account holders only.
Turnpike E-ZPass, already years behind schedule on the Turnpike, was expected to go live in May. That date was recently pushed back to August. Meanwhile, new E-ZPass installations on the Garden State Parkway, another New Jersey toll road, have been malfunctioning recently, failing to properly read transponders.
According to Cunninghame, the debut of E-ZPass on the Pennsylvania Turnpike will be delayed until weigh-in-motion equipment can be installed. The Pennsylvania Turnpike, Cunninghame explained, intends to use actual truck weight, not just the number of axles, to decide tolls.