of New Jersey's Garden State Parkway endorsed a plan July 25 to
end discounts for users of the E-ZPass system, AP reported. The
New Jersey Highway Authority's commissioners voted 8-0 to end
the discount, which reduces 35-cent tolls to 33 cents during peak
hours and to 30 cents during off-peak times. A final vote will
be taken in November after a public hearing Sept. 3.
the combination of the discontinued discounts and a planned $1
monthly surcharge for E-ZPass users is prompting some drivers
to consider surrendering their E-ZPass tags.
Gov. James McGreevey said funding the system through fines was
a mistake. This month, he proposed ending the parkway discount
and instituting the surcharge in an effort to erase the system's
$469 million debt over six years.
could be imposed as soon as Jan. 1, said Micah Rasmussen, spokesman
for the state transportation department.
also fired the system's lead contractor, WorldCom Inc., and is
negotiating with ACS Inc., the company that runs E-ZPass operations
in several other states. The bankrupt WorldCom faces unrelated
charges of accounting fraud brought by the Securities and Exchange