WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Virginia's E-ZPass Fee Prompts Outcry From Lawmaker

Play associated audio
Cars using the E-ZPass express lanes as they approach the New Jersey Turnpike.
Cars using the E-ZPass express lanes as they approach the New Jersey Turnpike.

The Virginia Department of Transportation says new E-ZPass customers will now have to pay to sign up for the toll service, and current customers will have to pay 50 cents a month for the service.

The state intends to open more toll roads in the not-too-distant future, and VDOT sees this new fee structure as a way to raise millions each year to pay for operating the E-ZPass system.

But Del. Manoli Loupassi says when he heard what VDOT planned to do, he warned its commissioner that it was a bad idea, and if they moved forward he would introduce legislation.

"I mean, it just says you can't do monthly fees," he says. "If there are costs associated with having E-ZPasses, you put it in the toll."

Despite that warning and public outcry, however, VDOT decided to restructure the fees.

"I'm actually very surprised that they said 'Well, we'll just take half an apple right now and get everybody later,' says Loupassi. "That's basically what they've done."

He says people were initially lured into buying the transponders not only because of the convenience of avoiding long toll lines, but also because users were supposed to pay a lower toll than those without. He says it saves costs to not have to pay people to operate automated facilities, so there's no strong argument for raising fees now.

WAMU 88.5

Anne Tyler: "A Spool Of Blue Thread" (Rebroadcast)

In her first live radio interview ever, Pulitzer Prize winning author Anne Tyler joins Diane to talk about her 20th novel, "A Spool of Blue Thread."


Thanksgiving Buzz: What Would Pilgrims Say About The Plight Of Bees?

When you sit down for your holiday dinner, you may want to give thanks to bees and other pollinators. Their health is tied to your food. What's behind the bee declines? Watch our video investigation.

Reconsidering The Pilgrims, Piety And America's Founding Principles

Conservatives who want to emphasize America's Christian roots embrace the story of the Pilgrims and the Mayflower Compact. But some historians say their role in the country's founding is overstated.

From Takeout To Breakups: Apps Can Deliver Anything, For A Price

Convenience is at an all-time premium — and a lot of smartphone apps promise to make many of the things we do every day easier. In a time-crunch or sheer laziness, how far will the apps take us?

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.