BOSTON (WWLP) – It’s a project years in the making. Massachusetts transportation officials are calling the switch to All Electronic Tolling a “historic transition.”
Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack described it as “the day in which we stop collecting cash tolls in Massachusetts and we go to all-electronic tolling.”
The state will switch to the All Electronic Tolling system on the Massachusetts Turnpike at 10:00 Friday night. Crews will begin tearing down two dozen toll plazas across the state this weekend.
Transportation officials are urging drivers to be cautious around demolition zones and to plan ahead to avoid traffic. Highway Safety Director Jason Larason said, “Make the call for people to change their behavior, change their mode of travel, and change the time of travel. Perhaps, telecommute during some periods of time because without that change in behavior we’re going to deal with the normal levels of traffic.”
You will need an E-ZPass transponder to pay the cheapest tolls. After the system goes live, those without an E-ZPass account have a six-month grace period to get a transponder to get a credit for the surcharge on their pay-by-plate bills.
The E-ZPass phone lines and website will be down until Tuesday morning to shift transponder data to the new electronic tolling system. The data includes information on more than three-million transponders. Until then, drivers can get help in-person by visiting E-ZPass service centers in Lee and Ludlow.
Secretary Pollack said that by the end of next year, it will look like there were never toll plazas along I-90, the Massachusetts Turnpike.