E-ZPass fixes in New Jersey delayed

| 2/25/2003

The flowers will be blooming in Jersey before users of the state’s E-ZPass system will see improvements, The Newark Star-Ledger reported Feb. 24.

A new company hired by the state, ACS State and Local Solutions, was going to start work on fixing the system March 1. But transportation officials in the administration of Gov. James McGreevey have decided to give the company several more weeks to test before taking over, the newspaper reported, delaying improvements till spring. Meanwhile, WorldCom, which has handled the system, will continue to run it.

The problems with E-ZPass were so bad that at one point, New Jersey shut down a large part of its electronic enforcement system intended to catch toll cheaters. The mid-December shutdown meant that at nearly 300 tollbooths on the Garden State Parkway and New Jersey Turnpike, nothing stopped people from beating tolls.

State officials had not been able to stop the automatic enforcement system from producing hundreds of thousands of false tickets, so they extended a moratorium on violations. However, some tollbooths, where equipment has been fixed, were producing tickets again by late December.