You’ve probably heard in the news that the tolls are coming down on the MA Turnpike. This means that MA Turnpike electronic tolling is now in place. How does this impact drivers with and without EZ Pass? Here’s a quick overview.
For ESPass users, the disappearance of the toll booths has no impact. Your EZPass transponder will continue to work as usual. The removal of tolls simply makes the ride smoother, eliminating the need to slow down at the booths.
MA Pay by the Plate Program
Non-EZPass users have a few options. First, you can choose to register for the MA Pay by the Plate program. This allows you to create an account and link either a credit/debit card or a bank account for automatic withdrawal of funds. You may elect to pre-pay for tolls or post-pay, meaning your total charges for the month are totaled and billed at the end of the month. This account will only work in MA. No transponder is needed; MA Turnpike electronic tolling systems include a camera that will capture your license plate to lookup your account.
Vehicles Not Registered Under Any Program
If you do not have EZPass and do not sign up for the MA Pay by the Plate Program, the system will still capture your license plate and will mail an invoice to the address listed in your vehicle registration. An invoice fee is added to the toll charge, so this is the most expensive option.
EZPass versus MA Pay by the Plate Program
If you are not currently enrolled in any program and are evaluating the two electronic options: EZPass and MA Pay by the Plate, here’s a quick comparison. EZPass works off a transponder (can be obtained for free) which can be used in other states in addition to Massachusetts. Their billing method is through pre-payment (funds are deposited into your EZPass account and tolls are deducted from that balance). The amount of that pre-payment depends on your monthly usage trend. MA Pay by the Plate only works in MA since there is no transponder involved. They have a prepayment option, similar to EZPass. They also have a post-payment option. Given the invoicing fee charged for vehicles not enrolled in an electronic billing option, it makes sense to sign up for one of these programs. The MA Turnpike Electronic Tolling Change embraces technology, so it’s time that you embrace it as well by enrolling in a program today.