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

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.


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