E-ZPass® is a toll-collection system that enables motorists to pay their tolls electronically through pre-established accounts prepaid and replenished with a credit card or check. It is accepted by 31 toll agencies in 18 states, from Maine to Florida and west to Illinois. More than 43 million E-ZPass® devices are currently in circulation and the number grows each year.
E-ZPass® makes driving more convenient. It reduces travel times, decreases motor-vehicle emissions, and helps motorists cut down on fuel costs. The Commission’s E-ZPass service provider and toll processor is the New Jersey Regional E-ZPass® Customer Service Center (NJ E-ZPass Group) which serves seven toll agencies located in or serving the states of New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware.
The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission strives to improve its toll collection system as equipment ages and better technologies become available.
For example, the Commission established Express E-ZPass facilities (“open-road tolling”) at its I-78 and I-80 toll plazas in 2010. This has enabled millions of E-ZPass users to pay their tolls while driving at highway speeds. A Violation Enforcement System of high-resolution cameras and specially aimed lights to identify toll scofflaws was installed the same year, enabling the Commission to remove toll gates at its various facilities.
In late 2015, the Commission kicked off a multi-year design-build-maintain contract for a complete overhaul of the agency’s toll collection system infrastructure. The modernization effort touched virtually every aspect of the agency’s toll system: manual cash collections, conventional toll-lane E-ZPass transactions, highway-speed open-road tolling, and the introduction of all-electronic tolling at the Scudder Falls Replacement Bridge in 2019. This project removed the Commission’s outmoded toll-collection infrastructure and replaced it with the latest equipment and technology in the tolling industry.
The project was divided into two phases. The first phase involved the design, development, integration, installation and testing of a collection system to handle cash and electronic transactions at the Commission’s seven toll bridges. This work also extended to the establishment of the Commission’s first all-electronic tolling system at the Scudder Falls Toll Bridge — the agency’s eight tolled crossing — in July 2019. The new, improved system also included integration with host computers at the New Jersey Regional Customer Service Center for E-ZPass, which currently provides back-office support and violation enforcement for the Commission’s toll network. The second phase is ongoing, involving maintenance of all the newly installed equipment and operating systems for five years with two additional three‐year options. This also covers the maintenance of existing toll plaza equipment such as LED signage, lane signal indicators and yellow beacons.
The all-electronic tolling (AET) facility at the Scudder Falls Toll Bridge consists of an overhead gantry outfitted with electronic-toll-collection transponder readers, high-resolution cameras, and lights. Class 1 passenger-vehicle motorists who use E-ZPass to pay their tolls electronically at this bridge are charged a lower rate than non-E-ZPass customers. Motorists without E-ZPass have their license plates photographed – at highway speeds – and receive bills in the mail (Pay-By-Plate). Toll rates for non-E-ZPass-equipped vehicles are higher than what E-ZPass users pay due to additional processing costs. Conventional, congestion-prone toll booths are not be employed at Scudder Falls.
AET is increasingly being used in other states and countries. The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission fully converted to AET in 2020. Other AET systems are in use at the Golden Gate Bridge, the Sydney Harbour Bridge (Australia), Maryland’s Intercounty Connector/MD, and along toll roads in Florida, Texas and California.
Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission affiliated E-ZPass transponders are issued by the New Jersey E-ZPass Group, which services the DRJTBC, New Jersey Turnpike Authority, Delaware River Port Authority, Delaware River & Bay Authority, South Jersey Transportation Authority, Burlington County Bridge Commission, and Cape May County Bridge Commission. (Click on the image to view in full resolution.) (Note: This map will be updated in 2021 to reflect the recent additions of the Florida Turnpike Enterprise and the State Road and Tollway Authority of Georgia to the E-ZPass system.)