Are you ready for no more toll booths and no cash?
If you don’t drive on the Massachusetts Turnpike (Route 90) with any regularity, you may have missed the news that effective October 28, 2016, cash will no longer be accepted for tolls. No more toll booths at exits. If you haven’t heard many details, here’s a summary to help you stay informed.
How electronic tolls work
Instead of stopping at toll booths, you’ll drive under overhead toll gantries that straddle the roadway traveling at highway speed.
- If you HAVE an E-ZPass transponder, the gantries will recognize your transponder and deduct money from your account.
- If you DON'T HAVE an E-ZPass transponder, the gantries will take pictures of your license plate and the registered owner of the vehicle will get a bill in the mail through the Pay by Plate Program.
Drivers will now be charged for every individual gantry that they pass under, rather than paying for the total distance that they've driven at their final exit. 16 gantries will replace the current 26 toll plazas. Under the new electronic tolls, the toll schedule has been adjusted and in many cases drivers will realize savings. However, some drivers will pay more.
Non-transponder drivers will pay significantly more
If you don’t have an E-ZPass transponder, be aware that it’s going to cost you significantly more to travel on the Mass Pike because of additional surcharges and billing fees. Non-transponder drivers will pay an extra toll surcharge at each gantry they drive under in addition to the toll. They will also have to pay a $.60 cent billing fee. Additional fees will apply for overdue toll payments.
How much will it cost to travel on the Mass Pike after October 28?
Use the online Mass Pike Toll Calculator to see how much it will cost to travel between points on the Pike. For passenger vehicles, you can change the “Vehicle Class/Type” between “Class 1 – 2 Axle Passenger Vehicle w/E-ZPass MA” and “Class 1 – 2 Axle Passenger Vehicle w/ 2-4 single tires to see the difference in tolls depending on if you have or don't have a transponder. The difference can be substantial!
Getting an E-ZPass transponder is easy.
Why pay more to travel the Pike, when you can get a Massachusetts E-ZPass transponder? It’s FREE! You can sign up for a transponder online. Once you have your transponder, the tolls can be automatically deducted from your bank account or charged to a credit card depending on the payment method you select. If you prefer to print out and mail or fax in your application, you can use the private passenger auto E-ZPass application. It may take a little longer to process by mail or fax.
Existing toll booths will be demolished. The work is expected to be completed by the end of 2017. The plan is to initially divert traffic to the outer left and right lanes so that the center toll booths can be demolished and the roadway reconstructed. Here's looking toward hopefully smoother driving along the Pike with the implementation of all electronic tolling.