Beacon Transcript – Delays are to be expected for a few days as the Mass Booths which were used in order to pay the Turnpike fees are being taken down by workers.
As the Massachusetts Turnpike system will be changed and now feature an all-electronic payment, authorities have decided to demolish the Mass Booths which had previously marked the tax payment points.
The all-electronic system was activated and began being used on Friday, October 28, at 10 p.m., and has already registered a significant number of transactions.
Stephanie Pollack, a Transportation Secretary, declared that in between the official commence of the all-electronic tolling system, and early Sunday morning, October 30, almost 1.5 million worth of transactions had already been recorded.
Out of the total number of transactions, 76 percent featured the use of E-ZPass transponders. The working hours schedule of the E-ZPass Service Centers has been extended today, Monday, October 31.
This should allow the potential customers interested in using the service a better chance of obtaining the transponders. The devices will be activated in a matter of five to possibly seven days after they are acquired.
The bill for the service will be sent by mail, with the customers having to pay the full money toll. The customers who will choose to use the Pay by Plate system will receive an initial bill in a weeks time after their first passing through a gantry. The following trips will be billed on a monthly basis.
The state has also decided to demolish the Mass Booths which served as toll plazas, a move which will help the drivers in the long term, but which will probably cause a number of disruptions along the way.
As the demolition process began on Sunday throughout the state, delays are to be expected. The first consequences will be felt this Monday and possibly throughout the whole time period between October 30, and November 22, when the demolition phase should be finished.
According to Pollock, the drivers will have to be very careful during these days as the usual lanes and driving zones will suffer modification due to the working zones.
With 23 concomitant demolition locations throughout the state Thomas Tinlin, Highway Administrator, also warns people to be careful as besides the possible traffic congestions, they will have to watch out for a number of construction-related obstacles such as barrels or Jersey barriers.
The workplaces will be marked, the police also being present and ready to assist if need be, but Tinlin states that the most important thing that drivers can do is respect the speed limit of 15 mph in the area.
Drivers are also recommended to pass by the Mass Booths, as they are no longer in function and, if possible, use public transportation or other commute options, or modify their work schedule so as to being earlier or later. That would ease both the possible traffic congestions and their waiting period.
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