E-ZPass begins today on turnpike

SANDUSKY Turnpike tolls go up today -- but only for the drivers who are still paying cash.
Tom Jackson
May 24, 2010

SANDUSKY

Turnpike tolls go up today -- but only for the drivers who are still paying cash.

The beginning of October launches turnpike toll hikes of about 40 percent.

But drivers using the new E-ZPass electronic toll paying system, which also begins today, can avoid the increases.

Erie County's two toll entrances and exits, at U.S. 250 and at Ohio 4, are scheduled to have dedicated E-ZPass lanes to speed drivers through.

Lauren Hakos, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Turnpike Commission, said all turnpike lanes in the toll plazas will accept E-ZPass payments.

All but four entrances and exits on the turnpike will have dedicated E-ZPass lanes, she said.

Hakos said everything seems ready for the launch.

"All gates have been tested. Everything seems to be working according to plan," Hakos said.

E-ZPass users can use their devices in other states that share a similar technology, including Illinois, Indiana, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia and West Virginia.

Ohio customers can even buy their transponders in other states and use them here.

Transponders from Massachusetts are free. Ohio customers will lease, not own, their transponders and will pay 75 cents a month to use them. Ohio customers also pay a $3 shipping and handling fee.

Despite the price break, there hasn't been a huge rush to buy

transponders from Massachusetts. Figures from the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority as of Wednesday showed 798 transponders had been requested from Ohio residents for 435 accounts.