Electronic toll collection is quickly becoming the most popular way for drivers to pass through tolls on highways, bridges and tunnels. For the longest time, tolls were collected by people sitting in toll booths at certain stages of the highway or at the base of a bridge. Now, these tolls are becoming more and more popular across the country. What makes them so popular? The fact that drivers do not need to carry cash is one of the main reasons why electronic toll collection has become so popular.
The main reason for the toll is to increase the flow of traffic on the roadways and to cut down on drive time. Before tolls began, traffic jams at tolls were a daily occurrence and caused major traffic delays of 30 minutes or more. Not every toll in the United States is fully functioning with only electronic toll collection. Almost every toll does have the option for electronic collection along with using change or cash.
The development of the electronic toll collection has caused layoffs of employees because there are less toll takers needed with the electronic tolls now in effect. A lot of highways are instituting new tolls once they install this system. Instead of cars lining up at individual toll booths to pay the toll, a mass amount of vehicles can proceed through one large toll to pay their toll without slowing down. These new tolls, which are one long elevated pole across the highway, allow for multiple vehicles to pass through at normal driving speeds.
When a driver enrolls in the electronic system, they will be sent a tag or transponder to place on the windshield of the registered vehicle or to mount it to the license plate. When the driver wants to pass through a toll all they have to do is make sure the tag is visible to the tag reader at the toll. If the tag is not visible to the reader it will not register and the toll will not be paid. If the toll is not paid the driver will have a notice sent to their house telling them that one of the tolls was not paid.
Most of the electronic collection systems are registered to the driver’s debit account. The system will estimate how many times the driver uses tolls and will deduct a certain amount of money from the debit account and put that money onto the tag’s balance. Whenever the balance on the tag dwindles, the system will withdrawal more money from the account holder’s debit account and so on.
There are a variety of electronic toll collection systems in the United States. They are: E-Z Pass, Fast Lane, I-Pass, i-Zoom, Smart Tag, SunPass, E-Pass, LeeWay, O-PASS, TxTAGnetwork, TollTag, EZ Tag, AutoExpreso, C-Pass, Cruise Card, Express Toll, Fastrak, Good to Go!, K-Tag, MnPass, PalmettoPass, Pikepass and Tolltag. There are still states throughout the country that are working on installing electronic toll collection systems from the ground up.