All-electronic tolling goes live Friday: Here’s what you need to know

Last tolls collected by hand at 9:45 P.M. Friday, existing websites to go down at that time

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CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Drivers, get ready! The Massachusetts Turnpike’s all-electronic tolling system will start up on Friday. Starting at the same time will be the demolition of the toll booths at the exits along the Pike, and across the highway in West Stockbridge, Weston, and Allston.

When exactly does the changeover happen?

The actual transition to all-electronic tolling will begin Friday night. The last tolls will be collected by hand at 9:45 P.M., with the 16 gantries (which read E-ZPass transponders) along the Pike going live at 10:00. If you have an E-ZPass transponder distributed by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, you can travel through the tolls at a lower rate, while those with out-of-state transponders will pay a higher rate, as will those who do not have a transponder at all. They will receive a bill in the mail through the state’s new “Pay by Plate” system.

What about the toll booth demolition?

The demolition process at the toll booths along the Pike will begin Friday night, with work crews setting up new traffic patterns at the exits, covering up old signage at the booths, and setting up new signs explaining the rates for all-electronic tolling. A total of 107 law enforcement details and 100 workers will be out on the Pike as the system goes live. Actual demolition of toll plazas will begin on Sunday. It is a process that will contain many steps, however, and the work is not expected to be totally completed throughout the system until the end of next year.

What if I don’t have an E-ZPass transponder, or need assistance?

When the gantries are activated Friday night, the existing websites for tolling: ezpassma.com and paybyplatema.com will be shut down. A new website for the tolling program, known as EZDriveMA, will not be fully activated until November 1. In the meantime, those who hope to sign up for E-ZPass transponders can visit the following local service locations:

  • Charlton: Mass Pike Plaza Eastbound – Open Saturday, Sunday, and Monday 7:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M.
  • Lee: Mass Pike Plaza Eastbound – Open Saturday and Sunday 8:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M., Monday, 7:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M.
  • Ludlow: Mass Pike Plaza Eastbound – Open Saturday and Sunday 8:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M., Monday, 7:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M.

Additional sign-up locations will be available in Auburn, East Boston, Framingham, Natick, and Saugus. You can also sign-up at all RMV offices and at AAA locations. Click here for a complete listing of locations and hours.

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