All Cashless Tolls For New Jersey Drivers – Positive Improvement Or Problematic Adjustment?
Technology has vastly improved over the last five years alone and usually, I would say that is a good thing.
We have better computers, cell phones, operating systems and a lot of processes have been streamlined.
But what if too much technology is a bad thing? It very well could be and here is a prime example.
According to NJ.com, New Jersey's Atlantic City Expressway is about to become the first 100% cashless highway in the Garden State.
When news about cashless tolls first came out, I was thrilled. This will eliminate a majority of traffic jams that happen because of the need to slow down at the tolls and you won't have to do the NJ zig zag over to the right lane if you forgot your EZPass tag.
But now I have a few concerns on why NO cash options could be problematic.
1. This will take away jobs - There are workers who are stationed up and down the Garden State Parkway (and other major highways in NJ) to accept your cash and make change. What is going to happen to them?
And before you say, "They'll get another job," this job is still technically working under the state which comes with benefits that you won't find at a lot of the other available jobs.
2. What if you forgot your EZPass Tag? - If no alternative to the tag is offered, I would bet money that drivers will start to owe even more money to EZPass because of the subsequent violations that will arrive in your mailbox for illegally going through a toll.
3. Whose paying for it? - This argument arises whenever improvements for the state are suggested. I am happy we are always looking to get better but still, this is coming out of our wallets.
4. EZPass Violations - This is probably my biggest concern. I have had my fair share of run ins with EZPass (more on how to deal with these is coming) and whether the violation were warranted or not, they are not the easiest to resolve without paying the full amount they are asking for.
I only see this situation being tougher to deal with because without a cash option, drivers will be forced to open an EZPass account whether they want to or not. Ultimately, it is giving a New Jersey powerhouse even more power and that scares me.
Will it speed things up on the road? Yes.
Could this be beneficial with COVID-19? Yes.
I am also aware that a majority of people in New Jersey already have these EZPass tags but what is the harm of keeping one cash lane per toll plaza?
The silver lining is that there are no dates set for when this new system will start to be implemented throughout the other New Jersey highways. But it's coming...
We have to pay to drive? Fine! But can't I, at the very least, choose how I pay for it? Please? With a cherry on top?
You can take a look at all we know about these cashless tolls at NJ.com.
Drive safe and stay warm!
But before you go, take a look at some things you shouldn't ever say to a fellow New Jerseyan so you don't find yourself in hot water this weekend: