Out-of-state E-ZPass users charged more

July 18, 2017 06:39 PM

LEE, MA -- Below the new E-ZPass reading scanners along the Mass Pike, are new signs making it very obvious Massachusetts is charging the rest of E-ZPass-using America more.

Out-of-staters who take the Mass Pike all the way to the end in Boston, will be charged $1.90 more.

That gets under the skin of some New Yorkers. We talked to travelers at the Lee, Massachusetts rest stop.

"Rather than try to nickel and dime everybody to death, do some serious damage and don't go to Massachusetts," said Joy Van Sleet, of Broadalbin.

It goes the other way too. New York upped the price for out-of-staters on January first of this year. Those drivers now pay five percent more than New Yorkers using an E-ZPass. NewsChannel 13 asked the state Thruway Authority why. They sent us a statement saying they're just doing the same as other tolling authorities are already doing.

Massachusetts Department of Transportation has been charging out-of-staters more in the Eastern part of the state for 15 years, since state lawmakers required the department to do so. Tolling prices changed when DOT did away with toll booths late last year, opting for cashless tolling.

AAA is urging federal government to get involved, so all travelers are charged the same regardless of the origin of their E-ZPass.

"By having different fees based on where you get your transponder. It's sort of undermining the whole premise of this process," said Tara Ricard, AAA Hudson Valley.

The New York Thruway Authority recommends out-of-staters to get a New York E-ZPass to go along with their home state E-ZPass.

We caught Paul Hickey buying a Massachusetts E-ZPass in Lee. He lives in New Hampshire during the summer and Texas in the winter. Meaning he could get nickel and dimed by states the whole trip.

"So I will at least do New York and Massachusetts, even though it seems ridiculous to have to have two of them. I have to take them down and use the aluminum envelope so that they don't read both of them but only read one of them. I mean, the whole system is stupid," said Hickey.

Here's the full statement from the Thruway Authority:

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"The policy aligns with numerous other tolling agencies such as the NJ Turnpike, Maine Turnpike, Burlington County Bridge Commission, Delaware River Port Authority, Delaware River and Bay Authority, New Hampshire Turnpike, Illinois State Highway Authority, West Virginia Parkway, South Jersey Transportation Authority, MTA and Mass Turnpike. Anyone, regardless of their state of residency, can apply for a New York E-ZPass tag to receive discounts on our system and we encourage all motorists to sign-up to be eligible."

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