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TinotopiaLog → VDOT: Convenience and Cost Savings ‘Not Useful’ (19 Nov 2001)
Monday 19 November 2001

VDOT: Convenience and Cost Savings ‘Not Useful’

In a recent Dr. Gridlock column in the Wasington post, Bruce Williams, a spokesman for the corrupt organization that runs Virginia’s transportation system, defended Virginia’s use of an electronic toll-paying system (‘Smart Tag’) that’s incompatible with the system used by all states from the Virginia state line north to Boston (‘EZ-Pass’). Because the systems are electronically compatible, Virginia wouldn’t have to replace transponders or readers to join the EZ-Pass consortium. Nevertheless, Williams said that joining EZ-Pass

would not be cost-effective and would not be very useful to Virginia’s motorists. The bulk of the 340,000 Smart Tag transactions every day on the state’s eight toll roads and bridges involves commuters, not cross-region travelers.

Well, obviously. Since Smart Tags only work on Virginia roads, not many “cross-region travelers” are going to bother with them; they’re just going to pay the toll manually, a transaction that costs VDOT significantly more than the electronic doowackys do. And I don’t think VDOT has ever counted the number of cars with Virginia plates — filled with people who pay VDOT’s salaries — lined up paying tolls the old-fashioned way on the NJ Turnpike. VDOT’s determined what would be useful to us, and the arguments they offer in support of their position are almost completely nonsensical.. Blithering idiots.

Posted by tino at 22:36 19.11.01
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I’d argue that the cost savings would be from not joining EZ Pass because the IAG charges members a massive annual membership fee, but the point is moot now that Virginia is in an agreement with the IAG to accept EZ Passes.

Posted by: Wes at September 6, 2004 07:06 PM