10 January 2005
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
The easy solution to all this is to get rid of the turnpikes. It's scandalous what they are doing.
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.