PROVIDENCE, RI (WPRI) - The E-ZPass was made to make paying tolls just that, easier. However, one glaring problem that happens hundreds of times a day is causing congestion at the Newport Bridge.
Drivers with unmounted E-ZPasses get caught at the gates. The toll-reading equipment cannot read the transponder because it has not been mounted on the cars' windshield successfully.
"E-ZPass was installed a year-and-a-half ago to reduce waiting time at the gates and to speed toll collection," said David Darlington, chairman of the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority, which owns the Newport Pell Bridge. "We've sold more than 100,000 transponders, and the feedback from commuters about E-ZPass has been overwhelmingly positive. However, there is one problem that needs to be fixed. The refusal to mount the transponders that make the gates rise continues to frustrate RITBA and the motoring public. The unnecessary delays anger drivers who have to wait behind cars needing assistance to pass through the gates. So, out of fairness to everyone who uses E-ZPass, we have decided to enact a fee on vehicles with unmounted transponders."
So, starting on Wednesday, Sept. 22, E-ZPass users who don't have the pass correctly mounted will have to pay an extra $2-per-axle fee. For most passengers this will total the normal cost of crossing the bridge without the E-ZPass, a $4 total, compared to the 83 cents charged to Rhode Island residents who have E-ZPasses and have proven their residency to RITBA.
Households will still be able to share one transponder among their vehicles, but they still need to mount the transponder correctly.
E-ZPass fees can be paid in cash or can be charged to an E-ZPass account.
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