New company takes over New Jersey E-ZPass

| Wednesday, March 26, 2003

A new company was scheduled to take over management of New Jersey’s E-ZPass system March 25, The Newark Star-Ledger reported.

In addition, the state told the newspaper enforcement cameras, which are designed to catch toll evaders, would return to full operation.

ACS State and Local Solutions, was originally scheduled to start work on the system March 1. But transportation officials in the administration of Gov. James McGreevey decided to give the company several more weeks to test before taking over, the newspaper reported earlier, delaying improvements. Meanwhile, WorldCom, which was in charge of the system, continued to run it.

Rampant problems with E-ZPass at one point prompted New Jersey to 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.

And there were other problems as well. Customer service problems, including long waits for subscribers who called with concerns, prompted Delaware in early January to say it wanted out of its E-ZPass partnership with New Jersey, according to a report by the New Castle-Wilmington News Journal.

ACS has opened a new service center in Newark, NJ, to handle customer questions and complaints. The new center will have about twice the number of workers to handle the calls as the previous center, using roughly 200 employees, The Star-Ledger reported.

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