Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law a bill championed by Assemblyman Kevin Rooney (R-40) that brings clarity to E-ZPass toll discounts.
The bill, signed March 13, directs the New Jersey Turnpike Authority to notify existing and potential customers of toll discounts advertised by operators outside its jurisdiction that may not be available for New Jersey users. Currently, the existing website lists available plans and honored discounts by agencies that control some interstates and bridges that connect New Jersey to Delaware and New York.
“The assumption E-ZPass customers have is that as a customer, they are entitled to any advertised discounts. That makes sense, but is incorrect, as prices are set by each individual agency that uses E-ZPass, as are discount parameters. The disparities can be quite steep,” Rooney said in a press statement after the bill was signed. “Requiring transparency is pricing and discounts is good customer service.”
The E-ZPass Group started in 1990 as an alliance of seven toll agencies in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania to use the then-emerging electronic toll collection technology that uses electronic tags mounted on vehicle windshields to deduct money from a prepaid account.
The first of its kind regional toll collecting system has expanded into 19 states with 32 million account holders and more than 3.6 billion transactions totaling more than $14 billion.
Differences by State
Each agency or authority that offers E-ZPass sets its own toll rates and discounts based on its own revenue needs. Those individual entities also decide who qualifies for discounted rates, based mainly on residency, or on pass holders versus those who do not have E-ZPass.
“So in New Jersey, those with E-ZPass pay those discounted rates where the Turnpike Authority has jurisdiction, or where we have an agreement to charge residents and non-residents the same toll,” said Rooney, who is retiring at the end of this term.
“However, even with E-ZPass, New Jersey drivers may end up paying out-of-state toll rates even where the service is accepted. Drivers will now be able to easily find that information online before leaving for a trip.”
Latest E-ZPass Legislation
This is the second measure that Murphy has recently signed to help motorists using E-ZPass sponsored by a North Jersey lawmaker. State Sen. Gordon Johnson (D-37) sponsored legislation targeting erroneous fines. The New Jersey Turnpike Authority and the South Jersey Transportation Authority are now required to check the E-ZPass database prior to issuing a violation.
Under the new law, as long as an account holder has up-to-date and accurate account information, they would only pay the toll amount and not be liable for a violation.
“By requiring both entities to check before issuing a fine, residents will no longer be charged unnecessary fees and will not have to deal with the inconvenience of contesting those fees,” said Johnson.
rat murphy – stop raising the tolls here.