New Jersey bill would end toll fee guessing game

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 6/11/2013

An effort moving ahead at the New Jersey statehouse would allow truckers and other drivers using E-ZPass to know for sure how much they are being charged to access toll roads.

The Assembly Transportation, Public Works and Independent Authorities Committee voted unanimously on Monday, June 10, to advance a bill to require technology to be installed on the New Jersey Turnpike, Garden State Parkway and Atlantic City Expressway to inform users of the actual amounts being charged to their accounts. Users now see a sign stating the toll has been paid.

The “Truth in Tolling Act” specifies that the installation would be done during their next scheduled equipment upgrades.

Assemblywoman Connie Wagner, D-Bergen/Passaic, said the change is warranted because too often E-ZPass users have no idea how much they pay in toll fare.

“Cash-strapped commuters should know full well how much they’re paying so they can decide for themselves whether they’d like to take a different route,” Wagner said in a news release.

Exceptions would be made for toll booths from the state’s major bridges and tunnels. The booths are controlled by bi-state agencies and would require identical legislation to be passed in multiple states to take effect.

High-speed express E-ZPass lanes also would be exempted.

The bill – S1434 – awaits further consideration on the Assembly floor. If approved there, it would move to Gov. Chris Christie’s desk. Senate lawmakers already approved it by unanimous consent.

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