Over the last several months you may have noticed overhead electronic tolling gantries installed along the Massachusetts Turnpike. On October 28th, 2016 those gantries will go live and begin collecting tolls. Here are some things you should know about the transition to All Electronic Tolling (AET):
- Safety: Crash rates are significantly higher around toll plazas than elsewhere on interstates. Eliminating these choke points will reduce accidents.
- Cost: While the cost savings appear to be significantly less than initially projected, AET will reduce toll collection operating costs by about $5 million annually.
- Travel Time: AET collects tolls at highway speed, eliminating the need to slow down for tolls and reducing congestion.
- Environmental benefit: By eliminating idling at at toll booths, MassDOT projects a savings of 7,800 tons greenhouse gas emissions per year.
How it works:
- EZPass: If a driver has an EZPass, AET charges the appropriate amount at each gantry. Proposed rates give Massachusetts EZPass holders a slight discount. You can obtain an EZPass free of charge by applying online.
- Bill by plate: If a driver does not have an EZPass, AET takes a picture of the vehicle and plate and assesses a toll at each gantry. A bill for all tolls is then mailed to the registered address of the vehicle at the end of the month.
- Proposed Rates
- A trip from the New York Border to Downtown Boston currently costs $6.60. Under proposed AET rates a Massachusetts EZPass holder will pay $6.15. An out of state EZPass holder will pay $7.80 for the same trip. The bill by plate cost would be $11.70.
- The new tolling gantries are set up at different locations than the current toll plazas, so the cost of many trips will be different. For example: the current EZPass cost of a trip from Belmont, Brighton or Watertown to downtown via Newton Corner will increase from $1.00 to $1.50.
- The new AET system collects license plate, transponder, location, time, photo, video, and speed at each gantry to ensure accurate billing.
- This information will not be used to enforce speed limits and will not be retained by MassDOT longer than is necessary to collect tolls.
- Data collected by AET is protected by Federal and State law
- Current MassDOT practice is to not disclose any data for non-tolling purposes unless subject to appropriate judicial process.
- AET has a “Hot List” function which can provide real-time notice to law enforcement when a vehicle passes through a gantry. MassDOT is in discussions with EOPSS about possible use of this function during emergencies, such as Amber Alerts. If an agreement is reached on appropriate use of this function, MassDOT will promulgate appropriate regulations to allow for limited use.
MassDOT is conducting a series of public hearings around the state to collect feedback on toll gantry locations and rates.
The following hearings may be convenient if you live in Senator Brownsberger’s District:
Monday September 12th – 6:30PM
Newton City Hall – War Memorial Room
1000 Commonwealth Ave, Newton, MA 02459
Wednesday, September 14th – 6:30PM
Allston – Jackson Mann School
40 Armington St, Allston, MA 02134
- All Electronic Tolling Overview
- All Electronic Tolling Schedule
- All Electronic Tolling Privacy and Data Retention
- All Electronic Tolling Toll Plaza Demolition and Reconstruction
- All Electronic Tolling Rate Setting
- All Electronic Tolling FAQ
- All Electronic Tolling Public Hearing Schedule
Office of State Senator William N. Brownsberger