Why does E-ZPass make it so difficult to see how much a toll costs?
When you drive through an E-ZPass lane and the sign flashes "GO EZ PASS," do you know how much you’ve been charged?
Unless you are familiar with the route you are traveling and the specific exit you’re passing through, you might not because the information is not easily available. But a state lawmaker is determined to change that.
Assemblyman Roy Freiman, D- Somerset, is sponsoring legislation, A1153, that would require the New Jersey Turnpike Authority and the South Jersey Transportation Authority to install a device that notifies customers what they're charged when they pass through an electronic toll collection.
He said it might seem a bit over the top to require state lawmakers to get involved with this kind of an issue but he believes it it’s necessary.
Freiman said when he asked E-ZPass officials if they could send out a text or email receipt to customers, he was told that complicated technology issues prevented that from happening.
He said this simple request has turned into a multi-year battle to have E-ZPass provide basic information that is always given in every other situation where a consumer uses a credit card to pay for something.
“Could you imagine going into a store, using your card, they ring it up and you say how much was that and they say go home and look it up?" he said.
Freiman pointed out that E-ZPass customers are charged monthly for use of a transponder and that they are required to keep a positive balance in their accounts.
Freiman said the legislation has strong bipartisan support and he anticipates it will get final approval by the end of this month.
The New Jersey Turnpike Authority has a policy of not commenting on pending legislation. The authority, meanwhile, is facing lawsuits challenging its steep fines.
You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com