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The Commissioner's Report
begins to correct E-ZPass problems
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.
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
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.