Toll roads while traveling northeast US: planning and paying

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criticalmass
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Re: Toll roads while traveling northeast US: planning and paying

Post by criticalmass »

AnEngineer wrote: Wed Jul 14, 2021 8:11 am
galawdawg wrote: Wed Jul 14, 2021 7:43 am I am assuming that most, if not all, of these states have gone to cashless tolls paid by transponder (or by mail after the fact with a hefty "fee" tacked on).
I don't know of any tolls in the US that require a transponder (even to avoid a fee).

That said, EZPass saves time (dedicated lanes/roads) and often money (discounts on tolls particularly in the state of issue and sometimes others) and may only require a deposit that you'll get back if you return it after the trip.
The I-495,395,95 Express Lanes in Virginia have significant fees if the camera shows the transponder is not mounted correctly.
criticalmass
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Re: Toll roads while traveling northeast US: planning and paying

Post by criticalmass »

Jack FFR1846 wrote: Wed Jul 14, 2021 9:00 am
While MA has improved dramatically from the garbage system they used to have, NY still shines in my opinion. There IS a trick to getting one. Perhaps my method is saving me the charge that others report. On the E-ZPassNY page, they ask your state. You say New York. This is completely disconnected from the address you're going to put in. If you say any other state, it's going to bounce you to that state's page. Then you do the credit card for auto rebalance and put in your actual address. Tell them how many transponders you need (I have 4 on one account) and they mail them to you.
Beware: If your mailing address is out of NY AND west of the Hudson River, you will receive transponders issued by the Port Authority of NY/NJ, which have monthly account fees. Only transponders issued by NY agencies Thruway, MTA receive the NY government fee exemption, as NY state law had no jurisdiction on the Port Authority fee.
criticalmass
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Re: Toll roads while traveling northeast US: planning and paying

Post by criticalmass »

rooms222 wrote: Wed Jul 14, 2021 8:39 am NY charges a fee to non-residents, but not residents. If you are in NY, buying the pre-paid one will not usually have the fee, but you have to buy it in person. This is advantageous in getting discounts on Metro NYC tolls as they no longer give the discounts to all EZ-pass holders. The transit museum in Brooklyn is an easy place to get it.
NY MTA and Thruway transponders never have a fee, regardless of where you live. That is NY state law.

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey issued transponders DO have a monthly account fee. This is an interstate compact that is not subject to the law.
criticalmass
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Re: Toll roads while traveling northeast US: planning and paying

Post by criticalmass »

galawdawg wrote: Wed Jul 14, 2021 9:20 am
rooms222 wrote: Wed Jul 14, 2021 8:39 am Last I checked MA was one of the best for people not getting it in their own state. viewtopic.php?t=318066
Thanks for the info. The chart in that thread and linked here: http://www.jd4x4.net/EZPass/, had a great overall comparison of the various state EZPass options, deposits, costs and replenishment details. Very helpful!

Thanks to all for the help, just signed up for the EZ Pass MA (and thanks to prd1982 for the initial link) which should arrive in about two weeks according to their website, well in advance of our travel plans.

In the meantime, I may look at bypassing 95 between DC and CT (no offense NJ Turnpike fans) and running up I-270 to US15 to I-81/I-78 to I-278, I-83 to US30/222 to I-78 to I-287 (or I-83 to I-81/I-78 to I-278). Any feedback on those three potential routes in MD/PA?

Thanks!
Beware of significant heavy truck traffic on the two lane portions of this route (mostly on 81) and construction delays.
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galawdawg
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Re: Toll roads while traveling northeast US: planning and paying

Post by galawdawg »

criticalmass wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 6:54 am
galawdawg wrote: Wed Jul 14, 2021 9:20 am
rooms222 wrote: Wed Jul 14, 2021 8:39 am Last I checked MA was one of the best for people not getting it in their own state. viewtopic.php?t=318066
Thanks for the info. The chart in that thread and linked here: http://www.jd4x4.net/EZPass/, had a great overall comparison of the various state EZPass options, deposits, costs and replenishment details. Very helpful!

Thanks to all for the help, just signed up for the EZ Pass MA (and thanks to prd1982 for the initial link) which should arrive in about two weeks according to their website, well in advance of our travel plans.

In the meantime, I may look at bypassing 95 between DC and CT (no offense NJ Turnpike fans) and running up I-270 to US15 to I-81/I-78 to I-278, I-83 to US30/222 to I-78 to I-287 (or I-83 to I-81/I-78 to I-278). Any feedback on those three potential routes in MD/PA?

Thanks!
Beware of significant heavy truck traffic on the two lane portions of this route (mostly on 81) and construction delays.
Yep...been in that truck traffic on I-81 quite a few times before. But if one drives on an interstate anywhere in the northeast corridor, there is bound to be traffic!
criticalmass
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Re: Toll roads while traveling northeast US: planning and paying

Post by criticalmass »

galawdawg wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 6:57 am
criticalmass wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 6:54 am
galawdawg wrote: Wed Jul 14, 2021 9:20 am
rooms222 wrote: Wed Jul 14, 2021 8:39 am Last I checked MA was one of the best for people not getting it in their own state. viewtopic.php?t=318066
Thanks for the info. The chart in that thread and linked here: http://www.jd4x4.net/EZPass/, had a great overall comparison of the various state EZPass options, deposits, costs and replenishment details. Very helpful!

Thanks to all for the help, just signed up for the EZ Pass MA (and thanks to prd1982 for the initial link) which should arrive in about two weeks according to their website, well in advance of our travel plans.

In the meantime, I may look at bypassing 95 between DC and CT (no offense NJ Turnpike fans) and running up I-270 to US15 to I-81/I-78 to I-278, I-83 to US30/222 to I-78 to I-287 (or I-83 to I-81/I-78 to I-278). Any feedback on those three potential routes in MD/PA?

Thanks!
Beware of significant heavy truck traffic on the two lane portions of this route (mostly on 81) and construction delays.
Yep...been in that truck traffic on I-81 quite a few times before. But if one drives on an interstate anywhere in the northeast corridor, there is bound to be traffic!
True. But the wider I-95 route is usually fluid off peak times. Sunday and Saturday mornings or any nights are usually good between DC and Boston.

I-81 can have intense heavy truck traffic in both lanes, 24 hours.

Tip: Use 295 in southern NJ and your favorite Parkway in Connecticut/New York. Or 84/691/84 to avoid the New England Thruway and Connecticut Turnpike.
JackoC
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Re: Toll roads while traveling northeast US: planning and paying

Post by JackoC »

AnEngineer wrote: Wed Jul 14, 2021 8:11 am
galawdawg wrote: Wed Jul 14, 2021 7:43 am I am assuming that most, if not all, of these states have gone to cashless tolls paid by transponder (or by mail after the fact with a hefty "fee" tacked on).
I don't know of any tolls in the US that require a transponder (even to avoid a fee).

That said, EZPass saves time (dedicated lanes/roads) and often money (discounts on tolls particularly in the state of issue and sometimes others) and may only require a deposit that you'll get back if you return it after the trip.
The system in NY area now at unmanned toll stations, increasing % of them, is much lower rate for EZPass* than the bill you otherwise receive in the mail from photo of your license plate. Whether you call it a discount for one or a fee for the other, it's a significant %. They had ads on TV saying so.
Although by same token, EZPass saves you less time as they eliminate manned toll booths, you drive through either way. They are as of now still in the process of doing away with the manned stations though.

Not northeast, but recently in Oklahoma we first came across a station with a reader for their transponder (no EZPass, furthest away from NY it works is IL, IME), people at toll booths, a bill changer machine, and a basket to throw in coins: a surplus of choices. But next station we came to, at an exit, there was just a transponder reader and a basket. We like many people no longer normally carry coins, so our only choice was to drive on, alarm blaring. Although to date (this was more than a month ago) no automated summons has arrived in the mail. It didn't seem that well thought out.

*proper, ours is from NJ and qualifies same as a NY one, not sure the rates for transponders from all states which are recognized have same charge.
retiringwhen
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Re: Toll roads while traveling northeast US: planning and paying

Post by retiringwhen »

criticalmass wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 6:32 am
retiringwhen wrote: Wed Jul 14, 2021 7:56 am
Also, there are no tolls on I-78 or I-81 or I-287, so you are looking at mostly the I-95 corridor and the various NYC bridges and tunnels.
There is a toll on I-78 at the Delaware River bridge bar Phillipsburg, NJ, Easton, PA. The I-78 toll is for westbound traffic only.
Well that is embarrassing, I drive through that toll (at 65 MPH) at least once a week! :oops:

Just goes to show how EZ Pass just makes tolls background noise. My only reminder is the regular $25 replenishment fee on my Discover card.
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Tubes
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Re: Toll roads while traveling northeast US: planning and paying

Post by Tubes »

JackoC wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 10:28 am
Not northeast, but recently in Oklahoma we first came across a station with a reader for their transponder (no EZPass, furthest away from NY it works is IL, IME), people at toll booths, a bill changer machine, and a basket to throw in coins: a surplus of choices. But next station we came to, at an exit, there was just a transponder reader and a basket. We like many people no longer normally carry coins, so our only choice was to drive on, alarm blaring. Although to date (this was more than a month ago) no automated summons has arrived in the mail. It didn't seem that well thought out.
The Chicago area toll roads are like this. They have the open road tolling (EZ-Pass works on it), they also have a pull off to pay by cash. But this is only on the main road. If you get off at certain exits, you have to have I-Pass/EZ-Pass, or they mail you a bill with premium ($3 to start). You *can* pay online within 14 days if you can describe and remember the exit. This saves extra fees and avoids the invoice premium.

Chicago area roads still give the significant discount (from cash price) even if you have out-of-state EZ-Pass. That's nice and makes it worthwhile to get a transponder instead of paying on the pay-pull-off area. West Virginia doesn't give you a discount for EZ-Pass, you just avoid the pay line, which at certain times is extremely long.
Jeepergeo
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Re: Toll roads while traveling northeast US: planning and paying

Post by Jeepergeo »

I accidently drove through a toll booth on an offramp in either Missouri or Arkansas late one night...it has been over 25 years ago, so I don't recall the state or road precisely. By nature, I'm a law abider, and was concerned. So I parked on the shoulder and walked back to pay the toll, but it was an unstaffed booth and only took coins, and I had no coins on me (thanks for ATM machines!!). Further, there was a sign near the coin toss slot warning that it was illegal to pick up coins on the ground near the toll booth! I could have easily picke up enough coin to pay the toll and to get a cup of coffee too. Yikes! I was in a rental, and knew that could be a problem if a ticket were to come my way, so I was worried.

I wrote down the Help number on the toll booth and called them the next day (pre-cell phone days for me). A nice woman answered the phone and listened to my situation, and I offered to go to the local toll office or send them a check, and she replied, in a great, soft southern accent, "Sweetee, don't you mind sending in the toll. This sort of thing happens all the time and we don't track them down. Now thank you for calling in and have a great rest of your vacation."

Jeeze, that woman at the toll agency made my day!
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