Exclusive: Large Number Of Tri-State Residents Do Not Use E-ZPass; Question Is Why?

CBS 2's John Slattery Took To The Streets To Find Out, Explain Misconceptions

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Call it a cash crunch.

Despite access to E-ZPass, a sizable percentage of drivers have not signed on, and are content sitting in long lines, and paying full fare, reports CBS 2’s John Slattery.

We’ve all seen them — the motorists in the cash lanes.

“I don’t understand why they don’t have it,” one driver said.

And those who have E-ZPass typically make better time.

“That’s the best thing about it. I don’t have to wait in line,” another driver said.

With the E-ZPass lanes oftentimes wide open, don’t you wonder who those cash-only drivers are? And why they resist the convenience? Scott Koen lives in New Jersey and drives to New York City every day.

“No, I don’t,” Koen said, when asked if he has E-ZPass. “I should have it. I’ve always wanted to get it. I don’t have it yet. I have no excuses.”

Slattery heard other excuses, including one driver who said he was driving his employer’s car and needs to always get receipts.

The plastic pass requires an account with a cash balance from a credit card. One driver flatly said he didn’t want it, but his reasoning was uninformed.

“It’s too expensive,” he said.

The fact is, with E-ZPass you get a discount. A $6.50 fare is reduced to $4.80 with E-ZPass.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority said out of its 25 million monthly transactions at nine bridges and tunnels, 20 percent were cash. The Port Authority said 25 percent are cash, instead of the electronic device, at its crossings.

“I can’t figure why they don’t have it,” another driver said.

And of course another reason some drivers might opt for paying cash is the fear that Big Brother is watching their every move.

For more than a month now, E-ZPass has been selling electronic tags in cash lanes at the Henry Hudson Bridge. The so-called “on the go” tags can be purchased with up to $30 worth of tolls if linked to a credit card.

Are you one of the many without an E-ZPass? If so, why? Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

Comments

One Comment

  1. Snake says:

    You only get an EZPass discount if you purchase an EZPass discount plan…that requires a minimum monthly usage. If you are just an occassional driver on the per-pay EZPass thruway system. you don’t get a dime off. Rather, you must keep a minimum on your account…therefore, you are tying up MORE money by using EZPass rather than cash, especially once you factor in the $1.00/month charge just to have it in your possession.

    That…and YES, Big Brother IS watching. Or does the section on the EZPass website that allows you to see EVERY toll booth you’ve passed through (and therefore, so can the state) not count??

  2. Bell Toller says:

    Drivers don’t use EZ-PASS because they don’t want to be tracked…makes sense if they’re doing something illegal.

  3. BK says:

    I’M SICK AND TIRED OF NON-EZPASS COMMUTERS CAUSING TRAFFIC INTO THE TOLLS OR BLOCKING THE EZPASS LANES BECAUSE THEY DONT HAVE IT. THE AUTHORITIES SHOULD CHARGE DOUBLE FOR NON-EZPASS COMMUTERS AT THE TOLLS.

  4. Andrea says:

    all i know is i am sick of the cash people blocking the ezpass lanes, they should have barriers about 1/4 mile before so they dont block the lanes

  5. Lawn-Guy Land says:

    Even more surprising is the number of people who love to use the EZPass lane without EZPass, hold up the line while they pay cash, and then wonder why everybody is angry at them.

  6. Kevin says:

    I drove from NY to Alaska and NC to NY. I can tell you, just about every state has tolls.

  7. edlo says:

    The number one problem that commercial vehicles dont use them is because the replenishment method, if i am a driver who uses 600 dollars a month in tolls, the ez pass will take 600 dollars for the month, and 15 days later another 600 so they will have approximately 900 in tolls for the month ahead, a lot of us drivers , need to have that cash in our bank accounts for our daily activities, we cant afford to loose that cushion, that plus that bank fees for not having enough to cover when they inadvertently put it through the credit card. Another thing is , many people’s credit card credit limit is less than what the ez pass requires for such a high activity, which leaves most of us without the opportunity of enjoying the discounts. Another item worth considering, they should leave at least 24 hours for some accounts to directly replenish on line instead of going all the way down to White-stone bridge to do it in person…it takes a lot of traffic to go there, the ez pass should open other facilities where motorist can replenish their balances….and last but not least should divide the amount to replenish in various amounts for the motorist to choose from say 100, 200 , etc

    1. Lawn-Guy Land says:

      If you’re driving a commercial vehicle, then your employer (the company that owns the truck) should be setting up the EZPass account. There shouldn’t be any need for truck drivers to pay out-of-pocket.

  8. vy says:

    Until people compain to their elected officials, they is no incentive for the MTA to change the payment options for EZ Pass users. The most obvious good idea is to allow people to replenish their EZ Pass account via phone or online, like every other mass murchant retailers. It would be cheaper for the MTA to collect money that way rather than operating more of those cash payment centers. But loosing featherbed jobs in exchange for greater cost savings or higher efficiencies has never been a goal of the MTA brass or unions.

    1. JC says:

      you can replenish on phone or online. i do it all the time. didn’t link to a credit card, promise to pay by check. then i go online or phone and use my credit or debit card.

  9. Michael H. says:

    “No other state has tolls”

    I think it’s apparent that you’ve never been to another state.

  10. jeffrey says:

    i had ez pass from the beginning when it was blue in color and could only be used on the ny thruway. my question is why in places like the nj tpke and other parts of the world can you drive through at full speed but not in ny?

    1. Michael H. says:

      On the NY Thruway there are high speed lanes at certain points. Within NYC there is limited space at the toll plazas so high speed lanes are simply not feasible. Many plazas are removing their gates and no longer require you to stop, though.

  11. Mark in Orange County says:

    Don’t have it, will never use it. Big Brother IS watching. New York State stores the EP records long after the financial record need is over. Pay cash and protect your privacy!!!

    1. Michael H. says:

      Keep buying tin foil for your hats. My Alcoa stock is SKY HIGH!

    2. Billy says:

      worried about someone finding out when you went through a toll? in those cases take it off our windshield and put it in aluminum foil and pay cash.

    3. sandbaggit says:

      The people who eschew EZ-Pass because the don’t want the gubmint tracking their every move just slay me.

      Because their vehicles, with their government-issued identification plates, are photographed and videotaped roughly 8 trillion times when they pass through a toll facility.

      Just get a freaking EZ-Pass already. I shouldn’t have to suffer any toll-booth-related traffic delays just because you’re nuts.

  12. edlo says:

    The number one problem that commercial vehicles dont use them is because the replenishment method, if i am a driver who uses 600 dollars a month in tolls, the ez pass will take 600 dollars for the month, and 15 days later another 600 so they will have approximately 900 in tolls for the month ahead, a lot of us drivers , need to have that cash in our bank accounts for our daily activities, we cant afford to loose that cushion, that plus that bank fees for not having enough to cover when they inadvertently put it through the credit card. Another thing is , many people’s credit card credit limit is less than what the ez pass requires for such a high activity, which leaves most of us without the opportunity of enjoying the discounts. Another item worth considering, they should leave at least 24 hours for some accounts to directly replenish on line instead of going all the way down to White-stone bridge to do it in person…it takes a lot of traffic to go there, the ez pass should open other facilities where motorist can replenish their balances….and last but not least should divide the amount to replenish in various amounts for the motorist to choose from say 100, 200 , etc

    1. edlo says:

      I only think it makes sense, i hope mta read this

    2. Kevin says:

      Why not just use a Charge Card?

      You don’t lose interest or money.

  13. true NYC says:

    Moron you are a moron. How do you go from ezpass to global warming to SUVS? Most people that own a suv needs a suv. i will see you in the west side hwy stock in the snow in your f@cking smart car.

    1. KPMc says:

      You think those mothers dropping their kids off at school within the five boroughs NEED those obnoxious monstrosities called SUVs? I think it’s more likely the false sense of security it provides terrible drivers as well as a feeble attempt for poorly endowed men to replace their shortcomings.

  14. moron says:

    They are the same idiots who don’t believe in global warming,… Who get their cars stolen when they leave them idling to go into a store… And drive monster suvs…. Then they complain about high tolls, long lines, car theft, and gas prices.

  15. DanTe says:

    No credit. DUH

  16. Jxx says:

    Refill with cash on Rt.21 in Newark and use a pseudonym – that should ease your Big Brother worries.

Comments are closed.

More From CBS New York

CAMPAIGN 2016
1010 WINS Special

Listen Live