Commissioner Lettiere announces improved EZ Pass
System focused on improved technology, expanded
customer service offerings, and restoring motorist confidence
(Trenton) – Department of Transportation Commissioner Jack Lettiere today announced the fulfillment of the McGreevey administration’s plan to provide comprehensive reforms to the installation and management of the E-ZPass system while ensuring convenience for New Jersey’s motorists.
Effective today, ACS State and Local Solutions, a recognized leader in electronic toll collection systems, has assumed responsibility for the overall maintenance and operations of all functions of E-ZPass in New Jersey. Additionally, for the first time in the system’s history all essential customer service functions will be housed under one roof and easily accessible to account holders with a single phone call to the same 1-888-AUTO-TOLL number, or a visit to the walk-in center at 375 McCarter Highway in Newark. Customers will also have the option of Saturday hours at the walk-in center – an option not previously available.
“Today the McGreevey Administration kept it’s promise to fix EZ Pass,” said Lettiere. “E-ZPass is now reliable, technologically sound, and finally in the hands of a proven vendor capable of ensuring that the drivers can focus on getting to their destinations quickly and safely. Using E-ZPass no longer means worrying about whether a transponder is being read accurately or if accounts are properly managed.”
Lettiere explained that a major component of the improved system will be renewed vigilance in reviewing license plate information from photos taken in the toll lanes to determine whether or not potential violators are actually customers.
In the past, if lane equipment or a transponder malfunctioned, a motorist would be issued a violation notice as though they intentionally evaded the toll. Under the new contract, ACS will check potential violations against a customer’s license plate number, adding checks and balances to prevent erroneous violation notices.
After inheriting a broken system that had lost customer confidence due to equipment failures and nearly 500,000 erroneous violation notices, Governor James E. McGreevey charged the DOT with developing reforms and recommendations for improving the system. Based on those recommendations, in July 2002, Governor McGreevey terminated the state’s contract with WorldCom and selected ACS to take over the E-ZPass operations. Additional recommendations included the streamlining of customer service functions to make them user-friendlier.
The state took the time-saving step of entering into a preliminary agreement with ACS to begin immediate work on the existing trouble-plagued E-ZPass lanes while a final comprehensive agreement was worked out between all parties.
In December, the State of New Jersey agreed to a final 10-year, $450 million contract with ACS to remediate and maintain the existing 320 E-ZPass lanes as well to fully integrate all functions of the E-ZPass system including customer service, violations processing, lane performance, maintenance and system build-out.
“Our ability to work quickly with ACS to resolve the long-standing issues affecting E-ZPass has allowed us to provide motorists with a fast and sound resolution for their commuting needs,” Lettiere said. “Motorists can finally have confidence in E-ZPass and look forward to future enhancements including Express E-ZPass.”