SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Massachusetts Department of Transportation ended their 7-stop tour across the state explaining the changes you’ll see on the road and on your bills.
The way you pay tolls on the Massachusetts Turnpike will change on October 28th. Instead of stopping at toll booths, you’ll drive underneath overhead scanners at highway speed. The gantries straddle the highway and they take pictures of your license plate.
Drivers are going to start being charged at every individual gantry, rather than paying for the total distance that they drove at their final exit. 16 gantries are replacing the current 26 toll plazas; 4 are in western Massachusetts.
The MassDOT is proposing different rates at every gantry. The overhead gantries will scan your E-ZPass transponder, and deduct money from your account. There are “free ride” zones in western Massachusetts, where there are multiple exits between gantries.
Drivers asked about information privacy with the electronic billing. A MassDOT representative said, “Pretty much the exact same information at each of the toll plazas is strictly for toll collection purposes, not for any other reason.”
Drivers without an E-ZPass will pay a .30-cent surcharge on top of the toll for each gantry they drive under. It’ll cost them twice as much as it does now to travel the entire length of the Mass Pike.
The non-transponder drivers will get a bill in the mail, and will have to pay a .60-cent billing fee. These rates are only proposed, and still have to be approved by MassDOT’s Board of Directors.
The demolition of the current toll plazas will be completed by the end of 2017.