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Old 04-01-2013, 06:47 PM
 
Location: Fort Worth, TX
9,397 posts, read 13,232,718 times
Reputation: 6219

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I recently decided to get an EZ Pass to make it, well, easier to use tolls on the rare occasions that I do use them. I did some research and learned that Maryland charges $1.50 per month for the privilege of owning an E-Z Pass, unless you use it three or more times per month. That's fine for someone who regularly uses them, but I use tolls maybe twice a year at most.

Turns out you don't have to use an EZ Pass from the state you're a resident of. Any of the participating states are more than happy to give you an EZ Pass. Massachusetts is arguably the best of the bunch. They do NOT charge any sort of service fee as long as you opt for email statements, and they also don't charge for the transponder! The only price you pay is the initial amount of money loaded onto your account.

So yeah, if you don't use Maryland tolls very often and you want an E-Z Pass, get one from the Massachusetts website. When they ask you what state you'll be using it most often in, just select Massachusetts. You can change your address on the next page.
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Old 04-01-2013, 07:34 PM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
26,837 posts, read 57,830,396 times
Reputation: 29215
Quote:
Originally Posted by HurricaneDC View Post
PSA: If you don't use tolls very often...
...then keep some quarters in your glove box.

Two 35mm film cans (each holds about $7.50) won't take up much space...
and in a pinch the $15 could buy you a lot of phone calls or a few gallons of gas too.
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Old 04-01-2013, 09:31 PM
 
59 posts, read 135,525 times
Reputation: 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRational View Post
...then keep some quarters in your glove box.

Two 35mm film cans (each holds about $7.50) won't take up much space...
and in a pinch the $15 could buy you a lot of phone calls or a few gallons of gas too.
Doesn't help if those infrequent trips involve the ICC, which is EZPass-only.
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Old 04-01-2013, 10:23 PM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
26,837 posts, read 57,830,396 times
Reputation: 29215
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Notorious DGD View Post
Doesn't help if those infrequent trips involve the ICC, which is EZPass-only.
How elitist!

How many other toll roads are EZPass-only?
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Old 04-01-2013, 10:48 PM
 
Location: NH Lakes Region
343 posts, read 1,388,003 times
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It's not just about the money, although that is a consideration (I used to have NJ, but when I moved to NH I bought one from there - they have a negotiated discount for in-state tolls), it is mainly the convenience factor whenever you are faced with a toll. I used to make frequent trips between MD and NH, and by using the EZ-Pass I shaved almost 45 minutes off my overall-time (usually using cruise control, so it was a fairly close time/rate comparison). I was astounded at how much time I had spent slowing, then waiting to pass through the numerous booths. Although the usage of the EZ-Pass lanes is definitely increasing, you still see the longer wait times at the cash-only booth lanes. The advent of the "fast lanes" where you don't even have to slow to pass through a booth are also great improvements!

I do agree, however, that paying a monthly fee for low usage is a bit ridiculous, but I don't expect much better from Maryland.
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Old 04-02-2013, 05:32 AM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
6,473 posts, read 10,725,881 times
Reputation: 3092
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRational View Post
How elitist!

How many other toll roads are EZPass-only?
It is not ez pass only; without ez pass a bill is sent to the address to which the car is registered.
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:07 AM
 
Location: Metro Washington DC
12,553 posts, read 18,921,472 times
Reputation: 7194
Quote:
Originally Posted by HandsUpThumbsDown View Post
It is not ez pass only; without ez pass a bill is sent to the address to which the car is registered.
If you're trying to save a $1.50 fee then that's not the way to do it. The charge extra for not using an EZ-Pass.
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Old 04-02-2013, 05:10 PM
 
Location: Fort Worth, TX
9,397 posts, read 13,232,718 times
Reputation: 6219
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRational View Post
...then keep some quarters in your glove box.

Two 35mm film cans (each holds about $7.50) won't take up much space...
and in a pinch the $15 could buy you a lot of phone calls or a few gallons of gas too.
True, but as others have said it's more about the convenience. E-Z Pass only lanes tend to be shorter than the combo lanes, and in some areas they are now letting you go through at highway speeds because the E-Z Pass lanes don't merge at the main tollbooth area but after.
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:06 PM
 
1,009 posts, read 1,848,602 times
Reputation: 1423
I purchased my E-Z Pass in New York and it's the same deal as what you are describing. Also, am I correct in saying you actually have to go somewhere to purchase an E-Z Pass in Maryland? In New York you just purchase it at the toll booth (at least I did). Sometimes I think things are unnecessarily difficult in Maryland.

And the ICC is really the only place I actually use the pass here in MD. Besides, I can't use my change for tolls. I need it for all of the metered parking!
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Old 04-03-2013, 09:56 AM
 
6,014 posts, read 6,515,432 times
Reputation: 8299
I've been torn about using EZ pass and (toll lanes) because of the cost. Just haven't decided it's worth it to me.

Most of my interstate travel is during overnight hours so toll backups aren't an issue. PLUS even during other hours the more people who pay use EZ PASS and paid toll lanes -- the FEWER people are in my lane or toll booth...so I get the benefit of faster travel and less congestion -- and have THEM pay for it. That works for me.
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