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Thread: Road Toll by Mail

  1. #1
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    Road Toll by Mail

    Toll roads in this area have been offering the option of RFID tags to pay tolls for several years, first at toll booths, and later at designated high-speed lanes. The Pennsylvania Turnpike has even created some RFID-only exits.

    Now, they are taking it to a new level, and are doing away with toll booths on a major bridge. If you have an RFID tag, they will charge your account.
    If you don't have a tag, they will snap a photo of your car, determine who you are, and bill you in the mail.

    Does anyone on CQ have experience with this type of system? If so, how well does it work?
    I imagine it will alleviate congestion, but wonder what the toll recovery rate is for people who are billed in the mail.
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

  2. #2
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    We've only got one toll bridge in the area. I know they'll send you a bill for the toll in the mail if you skip the booth, but since I've never been the one driving in a car that skipped it, I'm not sure how it works.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

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  3. #3
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    We rented a car during our trip to Seattle/Leavenworth last month. On our way, we passed a few toll signs but never saw the booths. I'm familiar with the RFID toll passes used in many areas but the car rental clerk said nothing about our car having one, so figuring I'd get billed or not, I shrugged and drove merrily on my way. A week or two after the rental charge hit my card, the charge came through for the tolls. Nothing in the mail, though.
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  4. #4
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    There had been a few reported problems with our local toll bridge (the 520 floating bridge) when the tolling started, but lately I've not heard of any issues. My wife recently drove across that bridge (no RFID chip) and we received the toll in the mail a few days later. I'm guessing in PetersCreek's case with the rental car, the camera probably snaps the photo, the system figures out it's a rental car based on the license plate, and the charge is directed to whatever account is on file for the rental car.

    We also have the Tacoma Narrows bridge (the latest version is the replacement for the replacement of 'galloping gertie') which has a combination of toll booths and RFID readers for frequent users.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    We've only got one toll bridge in the area. I know they'll send you a bill for the toll in the mail if you skip the booth, but since I've never been the one driving in a car that skipped it, I'm not sure how it works.
    Two bridges, actually -- Tacoma Narrows and 520. We've had an account with them since the new TNB was opened and the toll put on and I recently discovered I hadn't updated it when I changed the license plate on one of the cars -- and the old plate has been getting charged on our account for using 520 and 405! I'm not sure if we've got it straightened out yet.
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  6. #6
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    On a related note, The George Washington Bridge into New York City has both traditional toll booths and RFID lanes.

    Recently a trucker was arrested for cheating the toll many times. He would run the RFID lane, but had a James-Bond-style license plate cover that he would activate as he approached the toll.
    Upon leaving the booth, he would uncover the plate as to not attract attention of the police.

    The cash toll is is $38 for a box truck and $76 for an "18-wheeler", so he had an incentive.

    (Toll is only one way...it costs money to get out of New Jersey )
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

  7. #7
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    The London congestion charge and recently the busy bridge on the M25 use that system. You can register, or pay within 24 hours by Internet or you get a postal charge which is higher. The charge can be pursued ending in a court fine. The number plate recognition works in a few seconds and the police also use it to track stolen or uninsured cars. But then I hear uk is the most watched country. The congestion charge is thought to reduce traffic, I certainly try to avoid it by using public transport, but hope self driving car taxis will soon be working.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by redshifter View Post
    We also have the Tacoma Narrows bridge (the latest version is the replacement for the replacement of 'galloping gertie') which has a combination of toll booths and RFID readers for frequent users.
    The replacement is still there (using Gertie's original towers, I believe); the toll bridge is the second one they built next to it to deal with the heavier traffic flow in and out of Tacoma.

    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Two bridges, actually -- Tacoma Narrows and 520.
    Oh, right--I always forget about 520, since I never go anywhere near there.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

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