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The Commissioner's Report

(archived)

McGreevey Administration
begins to correct E-ZPass problems


One of the first major assignments Governor James E. McGreevey gave to Transportation Commissioner Jamie Fox was to find out how to solve the problems plaguing New Jersey's electronic toll collection system. Governor McGreevey has made it clear that he will tolerate nothing less than an efficient and accountable system.

While E-ZPass has eased bottlenecks at toll plazas, reducing traffic congestion and helping to improve air quality, the system requires a complete managerial and financial overhaul.

A recently released report from a study group that was chaired by Commissioner Fox identified several manageable solutions to steer E-ZPass back on a course to financial stability and quality customer service. Additional information can be found in the full E-ZPass report (pdf 337kb).

One of the first recommendations implemented was hiring ACS State and Local Government Solutions to replace WorldCom as the primary project contractor. ACS is a recognized national leader in electronic toll collection systems with an effective track record of operating systems in New York, California, Maryland, Delaware and South Carolina.

In terminating the state's contract with WorldCom, New Jersey has taken the first critical steps toward ending a steady stream of nuisance violation notices and account balance disputes and making E-ZPass the complete success it should have been from the start.

The state is finalizing plans to install high speed E-ZPass on the Garden State Parkway. This will enable motorists to drive at highway speeds through E-ZPass lanes. It is already utilized in several states and is needed on a busy road like the Parkway. In response to complaints from motorists steps will be taken to improve lane identification and signage.

In addition to recurring operational problems, E-ZPass is on the verge of bankruptcy. The financial scheme put in place by the previous administration was not sound. It was not only supposed to pay for the installation and operation of the system, it was going to generate a $34 million in excess revenue. Instead of turning a profit, E-ZPass is mired with a $469 million deficit.

To begin to pay down the debt, a monthly fee of $1 per account will be instituted. This fee will be dedicated to reducing the E-ZPass debt and instituting improvements such as high speed E-ZPass. In addition, the two-cent and nickel discounts on the Garden State Parkway have been eliminated because they were not having enough impact on reducing congestion to justify its annual cost of $13 million. Discounts on the Turnpike and the Atlantic City Expressway will remain in place.
 
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  Department of Transportation
  P.O. Box 600
  Trenton, NJ 08625-0600
OPRA - open public records act

  Last Updated:  January 21, 2005