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State House Committee Passes Bill Pushing For Transparency On Hidden EZ-Pass Fees

By: Erika Stanish and Briana Smith/KDKA-TV News

HARRISBURG (KDKA) - The House Transportation Committee voted unanimously Tuesday on a bill that would push for more transparency for E-ZPass holders.

Rep. Ryan Warner introduced the bill after learning E-ZPass customers were paying unwanted hidden fees while going through toll booths.

Warner said the extra fees apply when a customer's E-ZPass transponder isn't working properly. He said that can happen if it's old or mounted incorrectly. The v-toll currently adds $10 extra each time a customer passes through a toll.

"You go ten times, that's $100. One hundred times, $1,000. In a week you spend $1,000 going up and down the road. That's ridiculous," said E-ZPass holder Don Erickson.

Warner said thousands of E-ZPass customers have been charged for v-tolls, totaling millions of dollars.

"They (customers) were being charged $10 when their fee was typically $1 to $2," Warner said during the House Transportation Committee hearing.

"They weren't telling people," said Joe Drzazynski, another E-ZPass holder.

WATCH: KDKA's Briana Smith reports

Warner said House Bill 2139 would require the Turnpike Commission to notify customers within 24 hours if their transponders aren't working after going through a toll and provide solutions to fix it.

"I'm happy they woke up and are doing something about it finally. People are getting angry about that," Erickson said.

Warner told KDKA Tuesday that he's happy to see the vote pushed through the committee.

"It goes a long way for transparency for turnpike E-ZPass customers," Warner said.

Carl DeFab with the Pennslyvania Turnpike Commission also sent KDKA a statement in response to the vote:

"The PA Turnpike welcomes the General Assembly's consideration and guidance on how we can better serve customers and continue to operate transparently. We thank Rep. Ryan Warner and House Transportation Committee leaders for their collaboration during the creation of this legislation, and we look forward to working together to implement measures outlined in the bill."

The bill will head to the full House next and then the Senate for a vote. If it passes, it will go into effect in 60 days.

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