Electronic toll payment system usable in 16 states
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Nov. 13, 2015) — The Kentucky Public Transportation Infrastructure Authority (KPTIA) has been approved for membership in E-ZPass Group, which operates a common electronic toll payment program in 15 other states.
With an E-ZPass transponder, tolls can automatically be paid on any toll road or bridge operated by any member agency of the E-ZPass Group.
KPTIA joined for the benefit of future users of the Louisville-Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges project. KPTIA is financing the Downtown Crossing portion of the project — a new bridge to carry Interstate 65 northbound traffic between Louisville and Jeffersonville, Indiana, and conversion of the existing I-65 John F. Kennedy Memorial Bridge to carry southbound traffic.
Indiana is building the other half of the project—the East End Crossing between Prospect, Kentucky, and Utica, Indiana. Toll revenue will help finance all three crossings, and an E-ZPass transponder can be used for all three.
Tolling of the bridges will commence in late 2016 and will be all-electronic — no toll plazas, no coin buckets and no waiting in line.
“Electronic toll collection is the most cost-effective system available to motorists for paying for the use of tolled highways and bridges,” said Kentucky Transportation Secretary Mike Hancock, who also is KPTIA chairman. “All E-ZPass toll facilities offer transponders that are interoperable – meaning that a single transponder will work for any and all E-ZPass systems.”
With all-electronic tolling, traffic flows freely, unimpeded, through tolling points. Vehicles passing through tolling gantries are monitored in two ways: onboard electronic transponders that send signals to monitors and video cameras that record license plates from overhead gantries.
The lowest rates will be charged to motorists using a transponder, which allows for tolls to be automatically debited from an established account. Higher rates – because of higher administrative costs – will be charged for motorists who must be tracked by video camera identification of their license plates.
E-ZPass Group has 26 member agencies in 15 states—Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia and West Virginia. Toll roads in states bordering Kentucky include the Illinois Tollway system, West Virginia Turnpike, Ohio Turnpike, Indiana Toll Road, and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel.
An E-ZPass transponder, which will cost about $15, is one of two transponder options for future users of the Louisville-Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges. The other option is a decal-sticker “local” transponder that can be obtained at no cost but will work only on the local crossings.