You’ll be better off keeping your cash in your wallet because the Garden State Parkway is going all E-ZPass. However, paying cash might still be an option on the New Jersey Turnpike.
The New Jersey Turnpike Authority, per NJ Advance Media, reports that the “Turnpike board voted unanimously Tuesday to award a $914 million contract to bring all-electronic, cashless toll collection to the toll roads.”
TransCore, LP of Nashville has been commissioned to design install, maintain and run an all-electronic toll collection system for eight years.
The Atlantic City Expressway, operated by the South Jersey Transportation Planning Authority, approved a similar $159 million contract with TransCore to design and build an all-electronic toll collection system for highways. The South Jersey expressway is expected to begin service by Memorial Day 2025, officials said per the outlet.
Garden State Parkway drivers will likely see the transition first and Turnpike drivers who use cash may still be able to do for the time being, depending on which option the authority chooses.
“The Parkway will be first of the two NJTA roads to go to all-electronic tolling. There is no firm rollout date. It’s probably three or four years away,” said Tom Feeney, an authority spokesperson.
The options to be considered for the Turnpike are to “install all new electronic toll collection equipment and infrastructure or a retrofit of existing toll plazas.”
“Either toll booths will come down and gantries will be installed to hold the new equipment in an AET system,” Feeney said. “Or the booths will stay up and TransCore will provide technology to run a system that provides both for E-ZPass and cash transactions.”
The proposal TransCore sent covers both options. The contract approved is for the technology – cameras, readers, servers, antennae, scanners, sensors and other equipment, Feeney said.
“There is a lot of planning, design, and construction to be done at the toll plazas before the equipment can be installed,” he added.
Drivers should not feel too much of a difference when this change is enforced. According to the outlet, in August, 91.3% of Turnpike drivers and 89.5% on the Parkway used E-ZPass, per authority statistics.
As of now, you can go about your daily commute as you would otherwise. E-ZPass customers continue to drive as you were through E-ZPass tag readers and cameras on overhead gantries. Drivers without an E-ZPass will have their license plate photographed and a bill for the toll sent to the registered owner of the vehicle if they choose to drive through an E-ZPass overhead gantry.
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