The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

10 January 2005

Basket case

From the Unnecessary Expense Department: I got on the Kilpatrick Turnpike, duly stopped at the toll-basket, reached into my pocket, and did not find thirty cents. There was a Sacajawea dollar, though, so I grat my teeth and pitched the buckette into the basket.

Nothing.

This was not one of the toll stations with an actual bill changer, so I sat there. A truck pulled up behind me. I pondered running the toll light and sitting there waiting for the gendarmes, but decided this would be even more expensive. The occupants of the truck began to fidget.

Finally I flicked a second Sacajawea, my last, into the basket, and this time was granted admission.

Yeah, I suppose this is a good argument for a PikePass. Truth be told, I was holding out until they came up with some measure of compatibility with the East Coast E-Z Pass systems, into which I pour a lot of coin during (some of) the World Tours. On the other hand, if I'm running a regular risk of spending $2 for a thirty-cent fare, the transponder will justify itself rather quickly.

Posted at 7:30 AM to General Disinterest


You can contact the Turnpike authority and they will refund your $$. Happens to me all the time.

I once asked them what I was supposed to do if it refused to grant access after I pitched in my coin. Their answer. Run it and then call us.

Posted by: Dwayne "the canoe guy" at 12:09 PM on 10 January 2005

EZ-Pass compatibility would be wonderful, but as a baby step, couldn't we at least get our system and Kansas's system to play together?

Posted by: Michael Bates at 12:27 PM on 10 January 2005

I'd settle for that, at least at first. But ultimately, everybody should be willing to play together on this field. Right now, there's a big gap between Pennsylvania and Illinois, both E-Z Pass states; neither Indiana nor Ohio accepts the little box.

Posted by: CGHill at 12:50 PM on 10 January 2005

A couple of times I have thrown in the exact change only to have the light stay red. When you drive on through an alarm goes off and presumeably a camera takes a picture of your tag. I called and the person I spoke to said "did you pay"? I said "yes" and they said "you have nothing to worry about" and hung up. So there you are.

Posted by: ms7168 at 4:57 PM on 10 January 2005

I agree - the people at the Turnpike Authority phone center are very, very nice. I have driven through a couple of times with my Pikepass in the glove box. They told me the system would match my plate up to my account.

Posted by: Dan at 5:35 PM on 10 January 2005

The easy solution to all this is to get rid of the turnpikes. It's scandalous what they are doing.

Posted by: Luke at 5:57 PM on 10 January 2005

I don't get bent out of shape over toll roads per se, though I am generally miffed when we're told that a road will eventually become free and it doesn't, as was the case with the Turner.

Posted by: CGHill at 1:23 PM on 11 January 2005