WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Massachusetts Turnpike will go live with an all-electronic tolling system on October 28th. MassDOT has proposed a tiered payment plan that favors drivers whose cars are equipped with state transponders.
The way these gantries work is that they straddle the highway, and they take pictures of your license plate. Drivers are going to start being charged at every individual gantry, rather than pay for the total distance that they drove at their final exit.
The proposed plan charges drivers without an E-ZPass transponder an extra $0.30 on top of the toll at each gantry. It’ll also cost them $13.40 to travel the entire Mass Pike, plus a $0.60 billing fee. That’s double what they’re paying now, and all of those bills will be sent to you in the mail.
Alan Jahsman of Westfield told 22News, “People might not plan for that. They might forget it. They’ll get a bill that they can’t afford or overlook it and throw it in a pile.”
Drivers with a Massachusetts transponder will get a $0.45 discount for traveling the entire Pike. Those with out-of-state transponders will pay an extra $0.45 to travel that same distance.
“I use it in New York, and when I go out to Ohio or Illinois. I think in the long run everyone will find it’s a lot easier, a lot quicker,” said Norman Roy of Chicopee.
MassDOT will hold 7 public hearings around the state to discuss this proposed payment system and the tolls. They’ll vote on a finalized plan by October 6th.