Thursday, November 17, 2011

3 billion people have used EZ-Pass

The MTA announced today that they recorded its three billionth E-ZPass transaction some time Tuesday morning, which leads me to not praise their success, but ask: HOW THE HELL DO YOU LOSE MONEY WHEN THAT MANY PEOPLE ARE USING BRIDGES, TUNNELS AND HIGHWAYS???

The MTA is touting this milestone "that illustrates the enthusiastic acceptance by motorists of an easier and more convenient way to pay tolls," they said in a press release.

“This is an exciting benchmark and shows how popular E-ZPass has become,” said MTA Bridges and Tunnels President Jim Ferrara. “Using E-ZPass not only saves motorists time and money, it helps keep traffic moving and benefits the environment by reducing vehicle emissions.”

Based on traffic data, the milestone transaction was reached sometime Tuesday morning. An average 800,000 vehicles use MTA crossings daily. And yet for some reason, it still costs $9.50 per car to cross the GW Bridge.

By the way, according to an MTA board member, bridges and tunnels is the only MTA service that actually makes money. Subways, buses and whatever else they have lose money.

Jump below for the rest of the MTA's release.
The MTA introduced E-ZPass in 1995 at the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and it was expanded to the other eight crossings a year later. Since 1996 it has grown substantially. Today there are 2.1 million MTA E-ZPass accounts. Nearly 80 percent, or an average 682,000 motorists daily, use E-ZPass to pay tolls at MTA’s seven bridges and two tunnels and that number is continuing to climb. 

This is due in part to MTA Bridges and Tunnels’ E-ZPass On The Go retail sales program and a pilot program to sell the tags in cash lanes at the Henry Hudson Bridge. Both initiatives make it easier than ever to open an account, which saves drivers $1.70 per trip at most MTA crossings. Since the On The Go retail program began in February 2008, about 143,000 pre-packaged tags have been sold, including 6,700 in the cash lanes at the Henry Hudson Bridge since a pilot began there in June. 

Now, anyone can go to one of the 126 authorized On The Go retailers at 481 locations, throughout the five boroughs and Long Island, to purchase a pre-paid tag for $30. The cost is $34 in the cash lanes at the Henry Hudson Bridge, which includes the current trip.

Once purchased, the On The Go tag can then be used to pay up to $30 worth of tolls if linked to a credit card or $20 in tolls and a $10 tag deposit if it is not. Customers have 48 hours to register the tag by going to or by calling the toll-free number 1-800-333-TOLL. If the tag is not registered, it is deactivated.

E-ZPass is the largest interoperable toll collection program in the world, operated by 24 individual tolling agencies in 14 states from Maine to Virginia and west to Illinois.

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