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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Midwest toll blues


     OK, I've emptied my wallet of my cash.  I've been "tolled" out.  Have to visit the ATM machine again. Who has exact change in coins for a $1.50 toll gate with no attendants to make change?  Having spent the past few days traveling through Ohio, Indiana and Illinois I am sick of toll interstate highways.  Seems to me that these tolls are traps for out of state drivers. In our area we are generally free of these turnpikes that make you stop and pay tolls as small as 50 cents or as much as $10 for the Ohio Turnpike.  The tolls are everywhere around Chicago.  Most people in the Chicago area have an I-Pass which cuts the tolls in half.  Most of the people paying the cash tolls are out of state drivers like us. There is no monthly fee for the I-Pass unlike the EZ-Pass we have in our area. The I-Pass transponders are only $3 which encourages their almost universal usage.  I am not sure why our EZ pass transponders aren't this cheap and why they charge a monthly fee.  Seems like I remember a time when there wasn't a monthly fee.  The system of one universal system for all toll roads in the Country is still a work in progress. The EZ pass system is moving in the direction of being the universal system.  Is a system based on a smartphone app far behind?  Google knows everywhere I am at.  Couldn't Verizon hook up with Google and bill me for the toll on my next Verizon bill? This would simplify the present system.
      Are we looking at the end of the free interstate system?  Seems like the idea of tolling all the interstate roads is being championed as a way to maintain the roads because the federal gas tax hasn't been raised in so many years.  Now other ways to tax driving are being floated based on the miles you drive.  Enjoy our free interstates while they last as they may become a thing of the past.


Josie said...

You don't have to pay a monthly fee. If you're not travelling the toll roads in the area enough to justify the commuter discount with the MD EZPass, you can get one from out of state. I live in MD but have the Massachusetts EZPass. There are no monthly fees with the pass. It requires a $25 security deposit and a minimum balance, but the balance and deposit are returned to you if you return the EZPass.

duanestclair said...

Thanks for the information. I ordered two transponders from Massachusetts today. Much better deal than Maryland.