Pay-by-Plate surcharge to begin Tuesday for Mass Pike drivers

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – If you don’t have an E-Z Pass transponder, your bill is about to get a little more expensive on the Massachusetts Turnpike.

The state’s all-electronic tolling system went into effect 6-months ago, when the Massachusetts Department of Transportation replaced toll-booths with overhead gantries along the Mass Pike.

The gantries either scan your E-Z Pass transponder, or take a picture of your license plate, and send you a bill in the mail, which is called the “Pay-by-Plate” system.

Under the state’s All Electronic Tolling System, Pay-by-Plate drivers are supposed to get hit with a surcharge every time they drive on the Mass Pike.

MassDOT offered drivers without E-Z Passes a 6-month grace period, which was meant to give them more time to sign up for an E-Z Pass account. During that grace period, drivers have been charged the discounted E-Z Pass rate, regardless of whether they had a transponder.

Monday is the last day the grace period will be in effect. Starting Tuesday, Pay-By-Plate drivers will no longer get the discount, and instead, will have to pay a surcharge every time they drive the Mass Pike.

Here’s what that will look like:

According to MassDOT, a trip from Westfield to Exit 5 in Chicopee will continue to cost an E-Z Pass customer $.30. A Pay-by-plate driver will now pay $.65 for that same trip, more than double the price that E-Z Pass customers have to pay.

The further you drive, the more expensive the tolls will get.

A trip from Lee to Exit 7 in Ludlow will cost E-Z Pass customers $1.30, while the same trip will cost Pay-By-Plate customers $2.10.

Click here to find out how to open an E-Z Pass account.