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Cashless Pa. turnpike?

Published On: Mar 06 2012 06:00:00 PM CST
Updated On: Mar 07 2012 06:06:03 AM CST

Cashless Pa. turnpike?

Soon, you may be able to leave the cash at home when using the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission announced, Tuesday, it will continue pursuing a potential conversion to a cashless, All-Electronic Toll (AET) collection system.

That means no more stopping to pay the tolls.

"If it works, it's fine," said Joe Roe from Bristol Pennsylvania.

The cashless system would allow traffic to flow more freely and reduce travel time, said commission officials.

Some truck drivers who use the turnpike for work applaud the move.

"It's a lot better, quicker, and especially if you have a time limit that you have to get from one place to another," said Salem Bourreza, a driver for Excide Technologies.

"A nice option would be to either use cash or a credit card, if you chose, but it gives you more of an option and more of a choice," said David Stewart from Harrisburg.

Currently, EZ-Pass customers pay about 17% less. But some drivers said they are less concerned about money, and more concerned about privacy.

That's because if you don't have EZ-Pass, your license plate would be photographed, and you would receive a bill in the mail.

"In my opinion, it's like stalking," said Alexandria Boone from Carlisle.

"It sounds like government intruding in on my life," said Karen Eardly from Elizabethtown.

Some drivers said the option of waiting for the bill in the mail would cause a cash flow problem.

"I need to be able to turn my receipts in to my boss everyday so that I get reimbursed weekly," said Joe Wagenmann from Warminster.

"I just prefer to pay cash as I go. Without being forced to purchase EZ-Pass, without getting a bill in the mail that I have to pay after the fact," said Cheryl Krouse from East Norriton Township.

Conversion to an AET, under any set of circumstances, could take at least five years, said turnpike officials.

"All-Electronic Tolling is a significant trend in our industry that a number of other agencies have implemented or are considering, and it is important that we thoroughly study such a possible conversion", said Turnpike CEO Roger Nutt.

AET has already been implemented in several countries, and in several states like, Texas, Florida, California, Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, and North Carolina, officials said.