Wednesday, February 24, 2010

NJ Toll Takers Provide Water Cooler Fodder

I haven't had to interact with a toll collector in the New York metro area for years once I got EZ-Pass installed, but apparently a few people in the region are incapable of understanding that EZ-Pass is quicker, reduces congestion, and means that you don't have to deal with sleazy toll collectors.

The Smoking Gun initiated a freedom of information request with the Turnpike Authority, which released hundreds of complaints lodged against the collectors on the Garden State Parkway and the NJ Turnpike. More than a few of the complaints related to collectors soliciting drivers.

About 10% of the complaints are investigated, but in nearly every one of those cases, disciplinary action is taken.

With electronic toll collection being in widespread use around the country (those in the Northeast use the EZ Pass system), the ability to phase out toll booths and use high speed toll collection is available. It would greatly reduce congestion at toll plazas and reduce emissions that result from traffic jams at those crossings resulting from drivers backing up lanes due to having to pay cash for passage. One way to make sure that people have access to EZ Pass would be to distribute the passes along with vehicle registrations since the passes are tied to specific vehicles.

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