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Old 03-07-2012, 09:05 AM
 
Location: Montco PA
1,420 posts, read 2,393,872 times
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Default PA Turnpike to Consider Going Cashless

Pa. Turnpike Takes Next Step Toward Elimination of Its Toll Collectors CBS Philly

Let's see how quick the union comes out against this.

And, will Governor "Do-Nothing" Corbett have the nerve to see this happen, or will he, as usual, "do nothing" and back down to the unions (like he's doing with the idea of privatizing the state liquor stores)?
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Old 03-07-2012, 10:49 AM
 
Location: Far from where I'd like to be
25,166 posts, read 30,860,119 times
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Union or no union, how cost-effective is it, really, to eliminate toll booths?
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Old 03-07-2012, 12:55 PM
 
Location: Montco PA
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Umm, let's see, 1,200 toll workers @ $35k/year (I'm pulling this number out of a hat as I imagine it's much higher when you include healthcare and retirement benefits) = $42,000,000 per year. That's just in toll worker salaries. While I acknowledge that it's sad for toll workers to lose jobs, if the money is reinvested in a new toll system and highway improvements, then new job creation will offset some of the job losses.
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Old 03-07-2012, 04:09 PM
 
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There's also the economic benefit of less congestion. How much time and gas do you think is wasted idling waiting at toll booths in the state? Not a lot per person, but multiply by millions of cars and it does add up.
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Old 03-07-2012, 07:20 PM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
4,500 posts, read 3,167,591 times
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The way the system works today is pay before your drive the turnpike.

This new electronic system will work on credit. They will send the bill to your home - but that does not mean that it will be paid. We have many homes in foreclosure and many individuals that are on the verge of bankruptcy. Can our state squeeze blood out of a stone? I presume that they would come after the car or the driver privileges.

They would still have to identify the driver - which might not be an easy task. Many stop light cameras ran into a roadblock identifying the actual driver of the car. It also forces family members to turn in other family members to save the fines.

It sounds to me that the system will have problems.
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Old 03-07-2012, 07:52 PM
 
2,866 posts, read 4,898,128 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fisheye View Post
This new electronic system will work on credit. They will send the bill to your home - but that does not mean that it will be paid. We have many homes in foreclosure and many individuals that are on the verge of bankruptcy. Can our state squeeze blood out of a stone? I presume that they would come after the car or the driver privileges.

They would still have to identify the driver - which might not be an easy task. Many stop light cameras ran into a roadblock identifying the actual driver of the car. It also forces family members to turn in other family members to save the fines.

It sounds to me that the system will have problems.
This type of system already exists elsewhere in North America- the 407 toll road in Ontario being the most famous. It appears to be working well there.

They don't bother identifying the driver. The toll is the responsibility of whoever the car is registered to. It's similar to a parking ticket in that respect.

The Turnpike already has high-speed EZ-Pass lanes that work similarly. If you don't have an EZ-Pass your license plate is photographed and a bill comes in the mail. Rack up enough and I would imagine your car gets impounded.
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Old 03-07-2012, 08:38 PM
 
Location: Far from where I'd like to be
25,166 posts, read 30,860,119 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pcity View Post
The Turnpike already has high-speed EZ-Pass lanes that work similarly. If you don't have an EZ-Pass your license plate is photographed and a bill comes in the mail. Rack up enough and I would imagine your car gets impounded.
Would other states bother to enforce unpaid tolls? No one in Pennsylvania has ever seemed to care about the collection of parking fines I've owed Cincinnati over the years.

Free travel on the turnpike with your out-of-state plates! Wheeeeee!
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Old 03-08-2012, 06:05 AM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
4,500 posts, read 3,167,591 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pcity View Post
This type of system already exists elsewhere in North America- the 407 toll road in Ontario being the most famous. It appears to be working well there.

They don't bother identifying the driver. The toll is the responsibility of whoever the car is registered to. It's similar to a parking ticket in that respect.

The Turnpike already has high-speed EZ-Pass lanes that work similarly. If you don't have an EZ-Pass your license plate is photographed and a bill comes in the mail. Rack up enough and I would imagine your car gets impounded.
Here is a quote from http://www.highwayrobbery.net/redlightcamsticket.htm#NotMe:
“A picture of your license plate doesn't establish that you personally did the crime - it only establishes that your car did it, and anyone could have been driving your car.”

So you are saying that the vehicle has to pay the fine or it will be impounded? That still presents a problem to families that were gracious enough to loan a relative their vehicle - only to be put in the crosshairs of the state's battle over the tolls. Businesses, that own fleets of vehicles, could also be in the crosshairs of this proposed “new’ system.

With any change; there are always problems. It is just a matter of whether or not the change is truly worth the price.
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Old 03-08-2012, 07:00 AM
 
Location: Montco PA
1,420 posts, read 2,393,872 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pcity View Post
This type of system already exists elsewhere in North America- the 407 toll road in Ontario being the most famous. It appears to be working well there.
Come on, just because something works successfully in other states doesn't mean it will work successfully in PA () - at least that's how the anti-change naysayers and union hacks will see it.

Anyway, they are well into the planning stages of doing this on the Garden State Parkway in NJ, which in general has more traffic and is more congested than most of the PA Turnpike. My guess is that even if you lose out on 20% of the revenue, you still make out because monitoring a computer system is a lot cheaper than paying people wages, healthcare, and retirement benefits.
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Old 03-08-2012, 07:05 AM
 
14,429 posts, read 8,512,734 times
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I'm not altogether comfortable with how fast and widespread our cashless society is going. I think it's a bad idea in the long run.
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