Office of the Governor
Governor McGreevey Unveils E-Z Pass Reforms
Governor says reforms will reduce
erroneous violations, improve customer service
(Trenton) – Governor James E. McGreevey today unveiled a series of E-Z Pass reforms designed to correct the serious financial problems that have plagued the E-Z Pass system since its design and implementation four years ago.
The reforms also will make the electronic toll system more customer friendly, pay off its operating deficit and launch high-speed lanes on the Garden State Parkway.
“It is time to make E-Z Pass work for our residents,” said McGreevey. “The system we inherited was swamped with debt and has provided appalling customer service.”
Today, Governor McGreevey announced that ACS Inc., a leader in the electronic toll collection industry, will run New Jersey’s E-Z Pass system. ACS currently operates New York’s system. Last week, Transportation Commissioner Jamie Fox fired WorldCom, the state’s E-Z Pass contractor. The system, which former Gov. Christine Todd Whitman said would pay for itself through $25 fines for toll violations, has a $469 million deficit.
Governor McGreevey said drivers, who have been hit with erroneous violation notices, should begin seeing immediate improvements because customer service and violations will now be handled by one entity.
The reforms were announced today at a press conference in Trenton with Transportation Commissioner James P. Fox.
“E-Z Pass is a good system, but it has been hobbled by too many contractors who have dodged responsibility for its many problems, and former state officials who misled the public about its financing,” said Transportation Commissioner Fox. “These reforms are not easy because it is not easy to rectify a $469 million deficit, but these reforms are essential to restoring accountability and the system’s integrity.”
In addition to hiring one entity to run E-Z Pass and integrating customer service and violations responsibilities, the reforms include:
Instituting immediate business changes to reduce bogus violation notices.
Launching a high-speed E-Z Pass lanes pilot program on the Garden State Parkway.
Improving E-Z Pass lane design and signage.
Supporting efforts to install E-Z Pass at airports and at Giants Stadium.
Rolling back unsuccessful Garden State Parkway E-Z Pass discounts to help defray the $469 million deficit, of which about $400 million is attributed to New Jersey (the remainder is attributed to Delaware and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey). (Discounts total $13 million annually and are three cents during peak hours and five cents during off-peak hours.)
Initiating a $1 monthly E-Z Pass membership fee to pay down the E-Z Pass debt and to help finance high-speed E-Z Pass lanes.
The combination of the $1, the rollback of the Parkway discounts, and E-Z Pass reserves held by the Turnpike and the Parkway, will pay down approximately $200 million of the debt.
Incorporating remaining E-Z Pass debt (approximately $200 million) into eventual toll road consolidation to maximize financing benefits.
Establishing an E-Z Pass Quality Management Team solely responsible for overseeing implementation and enhancement of E-Z Pass.
On July 2, Commissioner Fox terminated the state’s E-Z Pass contract with WorldCom, which operated New Jersey’s E-Z Pass system on behalf of a regional consortium of toll authorities including the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, the New Jersey Highway Authority (operator of the Garden State Parkway), the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the South Jersey Transportation Authority (operator of the Atlantic City Expressway) and the Delaware Department of Transportation.