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State to activate all-electronic tolling Oct. 28

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The Massachusetts Department of Transportation announced last week that plans are on schedule to activate All Electronic Tolling in the state on Friday, October 28, at 10 p.m., and to immediately deploy equipment to begin the process of demolishing existing toll plazas. As the program, EZDriveMA, is launched, drivers will begin to be charged tolls after passing under sixteen gantry locations and contractors will be deployed in 23 work zones. Under EZDriveMA, drivers have the option of using a free E-ZPassMA transponder to receive a toll discount, using an out-of-state transponder, or being invoiced if not using a transponder under the Pay By Plate payment process.

“In preparing for the launch of AET, we are trying to get the word out to the public about what to expect, and putting in place logistics to inform drivers about the work which will be occurring,” said Massachusetts Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “While we recognize that our customers may face some short term inconvenience as the toll booths come down and as we all adjust to this new system, the benefits of improved safety , reduced congestion, and improved air quality will be of long lasting, and significant benefit for the people of the Commonwealth and beyond.”

“We are committed to educating the public about the transition to EZDriveMA,” said Highway Administrator Thomas J. Tinlin. “The toll demolition and road reconstruction projects beginning on October 28 will impact travel for motorists along I-90, (the Massachusetts Turnpike), and drivers are encouraged to slow down in these active construction areas, consider traveling at off-peak hours, and evaluate whether mass transit might be a preferred option.”

The first transition to All Electronic Tolling which the public may notice will begin on October 28, at 6:45 p.m., when the existing E-ZPass MA customer service call center will go off-line until 7 a.m., Tuesday, November 1. This outage is necessary in order to update and activate the new EZDriveMA system. Members of the public with concerns or questions can still email Aetinfo@dot.state.ma.us.

On October 28, at approximately 8:00 p.m., work zone logistical deployments will be obvious as law enforcement details and contractors will be visible setting up at the existing toll plazas and prepare to mobilize equipment for demolition and signs to inform drivers of the lanes of travel to the right and left sides of existing toll plazas. Manual toll collection is scheduled to officially end on October 28 at 9:45 p.m., and the existing E-ZPass MA system will stop processing transactions at existing toll plazas.

The electronic tolling gantries will then “go-live” at 10:00 p.m., and will begin to collect vehicle information as drivers pass under the gantries above the highway. The existing tolling websites (www.ezpassma.com and www.paybyplatema.com) will be shut down, and the new EZDriveMA website will be activated for informational purposes only. On-line services, such as signing up for an E-ZPass MA account, viewing customer’s existing accounts, and paying Pay By Plate invoices for the Tobin Bridge or toll violations will be unavailable until Tuesday, November 1, at 7 a.m.

In-person sign up for EZPass will still be available at any RMV and Massachusetts AAA location during their normal business hours. For a complete list of locations and hours please visit www.mass.gov/ezpassma.

MassDOT will be informing the public about in-person customer service opportunities, the progress of toll plaza demolition, new lanes of traffic patterns, on I-90, and other AET developments with the use of real-time signboards along roads, via its Twitter feed, (@MassDOT), and through other communication tools.