PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Delaware River Port Authority is reopening cash toll lanes on its four bridges that connect Pennsylvania with South Jersey. The Ben Franklin, Walt Whitman, Betsy Ross and Commodore Barry Bridges will begin accepting cash tolls once again on Monday, May 11 at 6 a.m.
It’s one thing to approach a toll with $5 in your hand.
“It’s another thing to get a bill for $40 or $50,” DRPA CEO John Hanson said.
Feedback from customers concerned over their rising toll tab is one of the reasons why the DRPA decided to reintroduce cash lanes on its four bridges starting Monday at 6 a.m.
“This cashless approach was always temporary for us,” Hanson said.
In late March, cash lanes on the Betsy Ross, Ben Franklin, Walt Whitman and Commodore Barry Bridges closed in an effort to reduce COVID-19 exposure.
But the DRPA says its system isn’t geared for all cashless tolling.
Drivers without E-ZPass accounts were promised a bill in the mail, yet drivers haven’t seen those yet and officials say it’s because the outside agency handling the billing is dealing with a backlog.
“The invoices just started to go out yesterday and we estimate it’s going to take seven or eight days for them to clear up the backlog,” Hanson said.
The Port Authority has also noted an uptick in bridge traffic and expects that to continue as COVID-19 restrictions are eased.
Still, only half the usual number of cash lanes will be in operation Monday and new precautions will be in place.
“Our collectors are going to be wearing masks and gloves. There will be plexiglass shields in place in the toll booths between the operator and the motorist,” Hanson said.
Drivers are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering if using a cash toll.
According to DRPA, about 30% of its customers use only cash.