Cash toll booths along Mass Pike will soon be a thing of the past

Cash toll booths along Mass Pike will soon be a thing of the past (WFSB)

Cash toll booths will soon be a thing of the past along the Massachusetts Turnpike.

The state’s Department of Transportation will be switching to a new electronic system this week, where cameras and sensors will be suspended above the highway, allowing drivers to proceed without stopping.

"I think it would make it a lot easier for everyone,” said Dennis McCarthy of Fairfield.

He passes through Massachusetts only a few times a year, but thinks the way tolls will soon be collected in the state is a good idea.

"I’ve always gone to the EZ-pass lanes, so eliminating that completely will just make traffic flow better,” McCarthy said.

On Friday, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation will transition from using toll booths on the Mass Pike to new electronic gantries.

Cars with EZ-pass will be automatically charged, while cars without EZ-pass will have their license plate recorded, and a bill will be mailed to the registered owner.

"We really weren't sure because we normally don't take the toll roads, so I was asking my husband and he said ‘I think it doesn't mean they're going to take cash anymore’,” said Tami Renken of New Hampshire.

A couple from New York, where a similar system is already in place, said switching over to EZ-pass makes a big difference, day-to-day.

"It’s much more efficient, it saves gas, and it makes everything better,” Monica McHenry, of New York, said.

But, what does this mean for Connecticut residents who may not have an EZ-pass, and haven’t needed to use one?

Drivers have the option of applying for a free EZ-pass MA transponder to receive a toll discount, using an out-of-state transponder, or being billed through the pay-by-plate payment process.

However, you could be paying $0.30 or $0.60 more per toll if you don’t have a pass or choose to use one from your home state.

The DOT is asking for everyone’s patience as the old toll booths are taken down.

They’re hoping for demolition to be complete by the end of next year.

"I think that it's only a matter of time before EZ-pass only ... no cash, at all,” said Al Baker, of New York.

The electronic tolls will be activated in Massachusetts on Friday at 10 p.m.

Copyright 2016 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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