ASSEMBLY RESOLUTION No. 285

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

217th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED AUGUST 24, 2017

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  KEVIN J. ROONEY

District 40 (Bergen, Essex, Morris and Passaic)

Assemblyman  JOHN F. MCKEON

District 27 (Essex and Morris)

Assemblyman  JON M. BRAMNICK

District 21 (Morris, Somerset and Union)

Assemblywoman  VALERIE VAINIERI HUTTLE

District 37 (Bergen)

Assemblyman  NICHOLAS CHIARAVALLOTI

District 31 (Hudson)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman Pinkin

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Urges NJTA and Metropolitan Transportation Authority to enter into reciprocity agreement to provide E-ZPass discounts to residents of New York and NJ.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

 


An Assembly Resolution urging the New Jersey Turnpike Authority and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to enter into a reciprocity agreement to provide discounts on toll rates for residents of New York and New Jersey who have accounts with the electronic toll collection system.

 

Whereas, In 1990, seven toll facilities from the states of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania formed a consortium known as the E-ZPass Interagency Group (IAG), which included representatives from the New Jersey Highway Authority, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority (NJTA), the New York State Thruway Authority, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the South Jersey Transportation Authority, and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA); and

Whereas, The IAG began as an effort to explore the potential regional application of an electronic toll collection system, to be commonly known as E-ZPass; and

Whereas, The E-ZPass system allows a motorist traveling on a participating toll facility to pay tolls automatically, by placing a small electronic tag on a windshield of a car that, as the car passes through a toll lane equipped with a “reader,” transmits customer account information and payment electronically to the appropriate toll agency without using cash or presenting a toll ticket; and

Whereas, These seven agencies represented almost 40 percent of all U.S. toll transactions and nearly 70 percent of all U.S. toll revenue; and

Whereas, Today the E-ZPass system is the largest interoperable toll collection system in the country, consisting of 38 agencies in 16 states, servicing more than 18 million accounts and 30 million E-ZPass tags, and being responsible for the collection of over $8 billion dollars in electronic toll revenues; and

Whereas, The IAG’s goal was to implement a regionally compatible electronic toll collection system that would not only satisfy the divergent toll collection and traffic management needs of the seven participating agencies but would also provide regional mobility and convenience to their customers; and

Whereas, To encourage use of the E-ZPass system, many participating toll facilities in New Jersey and New York advertise a discount from the cash toll rate for E-ZPass account holders, yet it is often not publicly advertised at the toll facilities that the respective toll agencies only provide those discounts to customers with E-ZPass accounts maintained by the toll agency with jurisdiction over the respective toll facility; and

Whereas, According to AAA Northeast, between 2012 and 2016, there were more than 92 million transactions in which the MTA charged E-ZPass accounts that were established outside of New York the cash toll rate, instead of the E-ZPass discount rate, at MTA toll facilities, with 70 million of those transactions coming from New Jersey E-ZPass account holders; and

Whereas, According to AAA Northeast, a number of other IAG toll agencies engage in similar practices of charging a higher cash toll rate to out-of-state E-ZPass account holders, including the NJTA, which charges out-of-state E-ZPass account holders the higher cash toll rate during off-peak hours; and

Whereas, With the interconnectedness of the citizens and economies of the State of New York and the State of New Jersey, it is in the best interest of the citizens of both New York and New Jersey that the NJTA and the MTA enter into a reciprocity agreement that provides E-ZPass discounts to residents of both states; now, therefore,

 

     Be It Resolved by the General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1. This House respectfully urges the New Jersey Turnpike Authority and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to enter into a reciprocity agreement that provides discounts on toll rates to customers with accounts with the electronic toll collection system, commonly known as E-ZPass, that are applicable to residents of both the State of New York and the State of New Jersey.

 

     2.  Copies of this resolution, as filed with the Secretary of State, shall be transmitted by the Clerk of the General Assembly to the Governor of the State of New Jersey, the Governor of the State of New York, the Executive Director of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, and Executive Director of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This resolution urges the New Jersey Turnpike Authority (NJTA) and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to enter into a reciprocity agreement that provides discounts on toll rates to customers with accounts with the electronic toll collection system, commonly known as E-ZPass, that are applicable to residents of both the State of New York and the State of New Jersey.

     According to AAA Northeast, between 2012 and 2016, there were more than 92 million transactions in which the MTA charged E-ZPass accounts that were established outside of New York the cash toll rate, instead of the E-ZPass discount rate, at MTA toll facilities, with 70 million of those transactions coming from New Jersey E-ZPass account holders.  According to AAA Northeast, a number of other toll agencies engage in similar practices of charging a higher cash toll rate to out-of-state E-ZPass account holders, including the NJTA, which charges out-of-state E-ZPass account holders the higher cash toll rate during off-peak hours.

     With the interconnectedness of the citizens and economies of the States of New York and New Jersey, it is in the best interest of the citizens of both New York and New Jersey that the NJTA and the MTA enter into and reciprocity agreement that provides E-ZPass discounts to residents of both states.