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E-ZPass on the Ohio Turnpike

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Jeff Kitsko

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Jun 17, 2002, 3:25:33 PM6/17/02
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A friend of mine who lives in Cleveland got this response from the OTC about
E-ZPass implementation:

"Thank you for your comments regarding E-ZPass and the Ohio Turnpike. While
we are aware that many other states have implemented E-ZPass, there are
significant reasons why the Commission has not implemented it on the Ohio
Turnpike yet. The Commission will be implementing a form of electronic toll
collection (ETC) for passenger vehicles/commuters sometime in the future*
(possibly as early as next year); however, a specific date has not been
established.

The reasons why the Ohio Turnpike does not currently offer E-ZPass:"

First of all, commuter traffic, which would be the primary benefactor of
this type of system, makes up only a small portion of Turnpike traffic. A
large number of our patrons (approximately 90%) are out-of-state travelers
and truckers. We currently provide a corporate charge account for the
trucking industry. For more information about this program, please visit us
at www.ohioturnpike.org. Before implementing a new and costly system such
as E-ZPass, we want to make sure that it is something that can benefit ALL
of our patrons.

Secondly, the Ohio Turnpike is currently undergoing a Capital Improvement
Program, which includes 160 miles of third-lane expansion, reconstructed
service plazas and new toll plazas. The reconstructed toll plazas are being
equipped with the technology that will allow for future use of an electronic
toll collection system. So, when we decide to provide this service in the
future, we will have the technology already in place.

Thirdly, many states have already implemented an electronic toll collection
system, such as I-Pass, E-ZPass, etc. Many of these states have encountered
glitches and/or problems with the system, including billing issues and
improper usage, causing both delays and headaches for patrons. [A recent
article, entitled, New Jersey E-ZPass Is A Ticket To Trouble was published
in the Las Vegas Sun (Las Vegas, Nevada) that specifically covered some of
these problems.

The Ohio Turnpike Commission has decided to take a "wait-and-see" approach
so that we can evaluate some of the issues that other states have
experienced and subsequently avoid similar problems. The goal of electronic
toll collection is to provide ease and convenience to our patrons; not cause
further delays. Additionally, as rapidly as technology is changing, a
system is already being discussed that would work from state-to-state. We
would like to offer something that will not become obsolete in the near
future, as this might already be happening with current systems.

*We certainly understand the desire for electronic toll collection among our
commuter patrons. We are in the discussion stage of developing a possible
charge account program that will allow patrons to prepay their toll, similar
to the corporate charge account program. They will be given a card, which
would work just as cash/coin to pay their toll. While motorists will still
have to stop at the toll plaza, it is more of a convenience to patrons who
do not want to carry cash or coins to pay their toll. We believe this will
increase efficiency for travelers as well. We thank you for your comments.
We encourage patron feedback and I personally
notify our Executive Director when I receive comments or requests for
E-ZPass."

--
Jeff Kitsko
Pennsylvania Highways: http://www.pahighways.com/
Pittsburgh Highways: http://www.pahighways.com/pghhwys/
Philadelphia Highways: http://www.pahighways.com/phlhwys/


Andrew Muck

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Jun 17, 2002, 11:21:44 PM6/17/02
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"Jeff Kitsko" <webm...@pahighways.com> wrote in message news:<NIqP8.62037$R61....@rwcrnsc52.ops.asp.att.net>...

> A friend of mine who lives in Cleveland got this response from the OTC about
> E-ZPass implementation:
>
> "Thank you for your comments regarding E-ZPass and the Ohio Turnpike. While
> we are aware that many other states have implemented E-ZPass, there are
> significant reasons why the Commission has not implemented it on the Ohio
> Turnpike yet. The Commission will be implementing a form of electronic toll
> collection (ETC) for passenger vehicles/commuters sometime in the future*
> (possibly as early as next year); however, a specific date has not been
> established.

I started a post about this a couple months ago! I e-mailed them as
well and they gave me a similar bullshit response.

> The reasons why the Ohio Turnpike does not currently offer E-ZPass:"
>
> First of all, commuter traffic, which would be the primary benefactor of
> this type of system, makes up only a small portion of Turnpike traffic. A
> large number of our patrons (approximately 90%) are out-of-state travelers
> and truckers. We currently provide a corporate charge account for the
> trucking industry. For more information about this program, please visit us
> at www.ohioturnpike.org. Before implementing a new and costly system such
> as E-ZPass, we want to make sure that it is something that can benefit ALL
> of our patrons.

If 90% of their patrons are out-of-state travelers, wouldn't a large
portion of them have E-ZPass? I do and it rocks! And only commuter
traffic uses E-ZPass?, I still wondered where they get that.

> Secondly, the Ohio Turnpike is currently undergoing a Capital Improvement
> Program, which includes 160 miles of third-lane expansion, reconstructed
> service plazas and new toll plazas. The reconstructed toll plazas are being
> equipped with the technology that will allow for future use of an electronic
> toll collection system. So, when we decide to provide this service in the
> future, we will have the technology already in place.

> *We certainly understand the desire for electronic toll collection among our


> commuter patrons. We are in the discussion stage of developing a possible
> charge account program that will allow patrons to prepay their toll, similar
> to the corporate charge account program. They will be given a card, which
> would work just as cash/coin to pay their toll. While motorists will still
> have to stop at the toll plaza, it is more of a convenience to patrons who
> do not want to carry cash or coins to pay their toll. We believe this will
> increase efficiency for travelers as well. We thank you for your comments.
> We encourage patron feedback and I personally
> notify our Executive Director when I receive comments or requests for
> E-ZPass."

I don't think the OTC really has an idea of how popular E-ZPass could
be in Ohio. From the sounds of this and the mail they sent me, they
get a lot of inquiries about this. My friends are always asking me
about mine. Personally, I think the idea of that charge card thing
sounds pretty fucking stupid. I just think they're afraid they won't
get their toll money or people will fly through the booths at 80 mph
or something. IMO, its the OTC's foot-dragging on this issue, (as
well as Ind. Toll Rd.'s) that is keeping E-ZPass and I-Pass as well
as other ETC's from all being interoperable. If all ETC's were
interoperable, now that would kick ass!

Andrew Muck

Joe Galea

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Jun 17, 2002, 11:32:13 PM6/17/02
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[snip profanity about the OTC]

Most of the Ohio Turnpike's traffic come from states, which, so far as I can
tell, do not use any sort of electronic toll collection system (Michigan
certainly doesn't, and I believe neither does Indiana). Also, most people
who use the Ohio Turnpike are only going to use that facility (or any other
toll facility) sparingly. It would certainly make sense for the Cleveland
area, but even then, I have to wonder how much commuter traffic uses the
Turnpike, with the free I-480 just to the north and running parallel. Also,
there is the matter of the toll booths being on interchanges, and not on the
mainline. Therefore, the only backups involved are at the two ends of the
system, and at the interchanges. If the Ohio Tpk had toll booths located on
the freeway itself, then ETC would be much more of a necessity. But the
human way of collecting tolls has yet to cause a significant slowdown in
traffic exiting from the Turnpike.

Joe Galea


Jeff Kitsko

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Jun 18, 2002, 1:31:49 AM6/18/02
to
The PTC also has a corporate credit card system as well. It, but not
E-ZPass (yet), is available on the extensions in southwest Pennsylvania. I
agree, it is a dumb idea, because people are not going to go for that, being
that you still have to stop and swipe the card.

If E-ZPass and the Illinois Tollway Authority could come to some agreement,
as E-ZPass and M-Tag, Fast Lane, and Trans Pass, the OTC would implement a
EZP/IP acceptable system.

--
Jeff Kitsko
Pennsylvania Highways: http://www.pahighways.com/
Pittsburgh Highways: http://www.pahighways.com/pghhwys/
Philadelphia Highways: http://www.pahighways.com/phlhwys/

"Andrew Muck" <true...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:afc07bb1.0206...@posting.google.com...

Marc Fannin

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Jun 18, 2002, 4:35:02 PM6/18/02
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"Joe Galea" <ccsham...@twmi.rr.com> wrote...

> Most of the Ohio Turnpike's traffic come from states, which, so far as I can
> tell, do not use any sort of electronic toll collection system (Michigan
> certainly doesn't, and I believe neither does Indiana).

I'd guess many of the states in question have no toll facilities at
all, much less electronic.

> Also, most people
> who use the Ohio Turnpike are only going to use that facility (or any other
> toll facility) sparingly. It would certainly make sense for the Cleveland
> area, but even then, I have to wonder how much commuter traffic uses the
> Turnpike, with the free I-480 just to the north and running parallel.

I posted about commuters on the cleveland.com Traffic forum two years
ago (one of only two posts ever there) and got a response that there
are a significant number of commuters between I-480/Ohio 14 and
I-77/Ohio 21 (and that was before the direct I-77 connection's
construction). See #485 on
http://www.cleveland.com/forums/traffic/archive.ssf/traffic13.html

> Also,
> there is the matter of the toll booths being on interchanges, and not on the
> mainline. Therefore, the only backups involved are at the two ends of the
> system, and at the interchanges. If the Ohio Tpk had toll booths located on
> the freeway itself, then ETC would be much more of a necessity. But the
> human way of collecting tolls has yet to cause a significant slowdown in
> traffic exiting from the Turnpike.

I have heard stories about long summer backups at the IN/OH and OH/PA
state lines, however (also maybe the west mainline in Indiana east of
the I-80/90/94 interchange?). But traffic usually flows well
otherwise.

Here are more details about this topic, from last year:
http://www.cleveland.com/news/index.ssf?/news/pd/ca05comp.html

I will make a note about this on the Turnpike exit guide/information
page.
http://www.roadfan.com/ohtpk.html

________________________________________________________________________
Marc Fannin|musx...@kent.edu or @hotmail.com| http://www.roadfan.com/

Bob Johnson

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Jun 19, 2002, 2:35:27 AM6/19/02
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On Tue, 18 Jun 2002 03:32:13 GMT, "Joe Galea"
<ccsham...@twmi.rr.com> wrote:

>Most of the Ohio Turnpike's traffic come from states, which, so far as I can
>tell, do not use any sort of electronic toll collection system

They get no traffic from the PA Turnpike?

Michael John Tantillo

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Jun 19, 2002, 12:51:30 PM6/19/02
to

Or the New York Thruway?

Andrew Muck

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Jun 19, 2002, 1:58:26 PM6/19/02
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musx...@kent.edu (Marc Fannin) wrote in message news:<cc3aa42a.02061...@posting.google.com>...

From a purely traffic standpoint, no E-ZPass is not a necessity on the
OH TPK, the argument that I'm trying to make is, maybe more people
would use the Turnpike if E-ZPass was available to them. For example,
many people who go from Youngstown to Cleveland will take 422 instead
of the Turnpike/480 to avoid the toll when in reality the Turnpike is
still quicker. E-ZPass allows you to pay your tolls when its
convienent for you, so there's a greater incentive to use a toll road
when it might be a quicker route. AFAIC, E-ZPass would attract more
patrons to the Turnpike, increasing OTC's profits in the long run and
keeping patrons happier by giving them more options.

Andrew Muck

Joe Galea

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Jun 20, 2002, 12:19:52 PM6/20/02
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"Bob Johnson" <re_jo...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:vg90hu8rd72ei8nn1...@4ax.com...

Oh, because I guess you weren't intelligent enough to see the word MOST.
Most means "not all".

Joe Galea


Marc Fannin

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Jun 20, 2002, 5:32:32 PM6/20/02
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[Apologies if this is a duplicate]

true...@yahoo.com (Andrew Muck) wrote...

> From a purely traffic standpoint, no E-ZPass is not a necessity on the
> OH TPK, the argument that I'm trying to make is, maybe more people
> would use the Turnpike if E-ZPass was available to them. For example,
> many people who go from Youngstown to Cleveland will take 422 instead
> of the Turnpike/480 to avoid the toll when in reality the Turnpike is
> still quicker. E-ZPass allows you to pay your tolls when its
> convienent for you, so there's a greater incentive to use a toll road
> when it might be a quicker route. AFAIC, E-ZPass would attract more
> patrons to the Turnpike, increasing OTC's profits in the long run and
> keeping patrons happier by giving them more options.

True, but you have to also account for the people who don't like
paying tolls at all, regardless of time spent. I'm sure there are
people who would take alternate routes like 422 et al above even with
an electronic toll collection system which offered a discounted rate.

Ben Johnson

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Jun 21, 2002, 11:00:34 PM6/21/02
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"Jeff Kitsko" <webm...@pahighways.com> wrote in message
news:9BzP8.84066$6m5....@rwcrnsc51.ops.asp.att.net...

> The PTC also has a corporate credit card system as well. It, but not
> E-ZPass (yet), is available on the extensions in southwest Pennsylvania.
I
> agree, it is a dumb idea, because people are not going to go for that,
being
> that you still have to stop and swipe the card.
>
> If E-ZPass and the Illinois Tollway Authority could come to some
agreement,
> as E-ZPass and M-Tag, Fast Lane, and Trans Pass, the OTC would implement a
> EZP/IP acceptable system.

It's probably an accounting software deal, mostly, since they're both using
the exact same transponders. I'm a Chicagoland resident, but I travel to NY
enough on business that I got an EZ-Pass as well, just to avoid scrounging
around for $1.60 for the toll between Syracuse and Utica every trip.


Bob Johnson

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Jun 22, 2002, 1:25:48 AM6/22/02
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On Thu, 20 Jun 2002 16:19:52 GMT, "Joe Galea"
<ccsham...@twmi.rr.com> wrote:

>
>"Bob Johnson" <re_jo...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
>news:vg90hu8rd72ei8nn1...@4ax.com...
>> On Tue, 18 Jun 2002 03:32:13 GMT, "Joe Galea"
>> <ccsham...@twmi.rr.com> wrote:
>>
>> >Most of the Ohio Turnpike's traffic come from states, which, so far as I
>can
>> >tell, do not use any sort of electronic toll collection system
>>
>> They get no traffic from the PA Turnpike?
>
>Oh, because I guess you weren't intelligent enough to see the word MOST.
>Most means "not all".

You might want to check your dictionary on that one, ace.

Mike McManus

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Jul 2, 2002, 11:20:16 PM7/2/02
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"Michael John Tantillo" <mj...@duke.edu> wrote in message
news:Pine.GSO.4.44.020619...@hudson2.acpub.duke.edu...

The PA Turnpike feeds the OH Turnpike directly; however, there's a hundred
miles or so of "free 90" in PA and OH between the Thruway and the Turnpike.
I would suspect a good half of the traffic from New York is destined for
points south (rather than, say, Chicago), and would bypass the Turnpike
entirely by using I-71.


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