Reporting Jim Donovan
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – We all know E-ZPass can save you time at the tolls, but it can also save you money with special discounts. Still, some changes have just gone into effect. 3 On Your Side’s Jim Donovan guides you through the confusion.
When it comes to paying a toll, many drivers think E-ZPass is the way to go.
“I just figured, you know, it’ll be a little easier versus digging in the console and trying to find that five dollars,” said one man.
E-ZPass moves you through the tolls faster and, in some cases, can even save you money. Driver Kathy Palasch said, “My husband just turned 65, so we went on to a senior program. We get a discount for the bridge.”
But figuring out who is eligible for what discount and when can often lead to confusion.
“I thought with the discount, if you got a discount, it would be with any of them,” said one man.
Some give you discounts, some don’t.
AAA Mid-Atlantic says part of the problem is that people think of E-ZPass as one giant agency. “It’s not,” said AAA’s Jim Lardear. “It’s just a conglomeration of 24 different agencies within 14 states.”
In most cases the discounts depend on which of those agencies issued your E-ZPass transponder.
“We believe that all E-ZPass drivers should pay the same rate, no matter which road or which issuing agency gave them the transponder,” Lardear said.
But they don’t. For example, beginning July 1, New Jersey Turnpike toll discounts were eliminated for E-ZPass drivers who didn’t get their transponder from New Jersey E-ZPass.
In Pennsylvania, Lardear explained, “The Pennsylvania Turnpike affords a discount to everybody who uses E-ZPass,” no matter where you got the transponder, and that comes out to be around a 7% savings.
Some discounts require that you sign up. Drivers 65 and older with New Jersey E-ZPass transponders can sign up to receive a 50% discount when going over the Betsy Ross, Ben Franklin, Walt Whitman and Commodore Barry Bridges.
Watch the video…
Delaware Memorial Bridge commuters can enroll in some prepaid E-ZPass plans and save up to a whopping 75% off the $4 toll: Take 20 trips in 90 days and you’ll pay only $1.25 for each, or take 25 trips in 30 days and only pay $1.
By some estimates, 70% to 75% of users on any toll or bridge use some sort of electronic payment system.
Reported by Jim Donovan, CBS 3