PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Gone are the toll-takers, going are the turnpike toll booths and here to stay is electronic tolling.
E-ZPass is now the norm on the Pennsylvania Turnpike with toll-by-plate picking up the slack. The E-ZPass rules are not the same in every state.
E-ZPass is a convenience for anyone traveling the toll roads, but depending on where someone drives, they might be better off buying an E-Z Pass from another state.
The currency on the Pennsylvania Turnpike has become E-ZPass as about 87-percent of Pennsylvania's motorists are now on the E-ZPass system, and it's not just a Pennsylvania thing.
"E-Z Pass are in 19 states now, including the states that surround Pennsylvania," said Carl DeFebo, a Pennsylvania Turnpike spokesperson.
However, not all 19 states' systems are unified in their E-ZPass system. They each get to select their own business role.
Many offer discounts to seniors, veterans or daily commuters. They only provide discounts to the people who have transponders from their state.. Pennsylvania customers wouldn't necessarily qualify for out-of-state offered discounts.
Pennsylvania only offers one, big discount and it's for everyone.
If someone has an E-ZPass on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, they save almost 60-percent on tolls compared to the toll-by-plate rates.
Meanwhile, Pennsylvania has an annual fee of $3, while in New Jersey for example, the annual fee is $18.
All that said, DeFebo says to buy the transponder where you drive.
"If you live in Pennsylvania, but you travel in Ohio more than Pennsylvania on the Ohio Turnpike, we recommend that you get your transponder from Ohio."
The same rules apply to West Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Maryland or Delaware.
Just make sure to buy the transponder for the road that is traveled the most.
Some states charge a monthly fee, and others charge a transponder fee that can run up to $20. The thresholds and required balances are different. Ohio and New Jersey's minimum balance is $25.
In Pennsylvania, once the balance hits $10, the Pennsylvania Turnpike charges your bank account, or credit card $25 to get it back in the initial ballpark of where you started.
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