E-ZPass Launched on PA Turnpike
"Stop Throwing Money Out the Window" is one of the many slogans that have encouraged tens of thousands of customers to enroll in the Turnpike’s E-ZPass program.
"E-ZPass means no more fumbling for cash or a ticket to pay a toll," said Turnpike Executive Director John T. Durbin. "Convenience is the most significant customer service benefit."
E-ZPass was launched on the Turnpike on December 2, 2000, at interchanges in southeastern and southcentral Pennsylvania; now, Turnpike customers traveling between interchanges 18 and 33 have the option of using electronic toll collection to pay their tolls.
E-ZPass enrollment began on September 11, 2000 with the launch of a comprehensive three-month long marketing and public education campaign telling customers how to enroll and use the E-ZPass system.
E-ZPass, available for passenger vehicles (Class 1) only at first, allows customers to conveniently complete toll transactions without the inconvenience of stopping and fumbling for change or a ticket. This initial phase of implementation is occurring at interchanges 18 (Harrisburg West) and 30 (Delaware River Bridge) along the east-west mainline, and interchanges 25A (Mid County) and 33 (Lehigh Valley) on the Northeastern Extension.
Customers can sign up for E-ZPass via the Turnpike website at www.paturnpike.com or by mailing or faxing an application to the Customer Service Center. Applications are available at interchanges 18 through 33. The customer service center phone number is 877-PENNPASS (736-6727) and the fax number is 717-565-4311.
Durbin said, "This is an exciting time for the Turnpike Commission. As we celebrate our 60th anniversary, we are pleased to offer our customers the latest in toll collection technology. Designing and implementing E-ZPass on our system is an ambitious undertaking, but we have met the challenge and once again are demonstrating that customer service is at the top of our priority list."
Durbin said the Commission decided to introduce E-ZPass regionally, because 64 percent of Turnpike customers travel between interchanges 18 through 33, 90 percent of which are passenger vehicles. As a result, congestion and delays have become a frustration for commuters traveling this part of the Turnpike on a daily basis.
"E-ZPass has long been recognized as a way to help ease traffic congestion," Durbin said. "So in an effort to help ease commuter congestion, especially in southeastern Pennsylvania, we are offering E-Z Pass regionally at first."
The Turnpike plans to have E-ZPass available to passenger vehicles across the entire ticket system in 2001 and to commercial vehicles in 2002.
Over the past three months, the Commission conducted a widespread marketing and public education campaign encouraging Turnpike customers to sign up for E-ZPass on the Internet or by calling the toll free number. Billboards with messages like "Stop Throwing Money Out The Window," "Keep The Change," "It’s Not Difficult, Hence The Name," "You Take Care Of The Driving. We’ll Take Care Of The Tolls," are appearing in the E-ZPass coverage area. Print ads are running in newspapers. Articles explaining the Turnpike’s E-ZPass program have appeared in area newspapers, national transportation magazines and in Pennsylvania AAA publications. E-ZPass informational brochures that include the E-ZPass application are available upon request at Exit lanes at interchanges 18 through 33.
For detailed information about E-ZPass, Durbin is encouraging customers to click onto the Turnpike’s website at paturnpike.com. "The web page is great," he said. "It’s the easiest way to enroll, and everything you ever wanted to know about the Turnpike’s E-ZPass program is there with a few clicks."
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