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DCIM100MEDIADJI_0052.JPGMassDOT is pleased to announce that the transition to all-electronic tolling (AET) from manual toll collections on I-90,  (the Massachusetts Turnpike), has been applauded and recognized by associations of transportation professionals and two non-profits because of the AET’s success in making transportation more efficient, reducing traffic congestion and improving highway safety for drivers.

MassDOT has been selected as the winner of “Best Use of Technology & Innovation, Medium Project” category of America’s Transportation Awards, a joint project by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), AAA, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and was presented with the award at the Northeast Association of Transportation Officials (NASTO) Annual Meeting in Philadelphia this week.  “Every project nominated in this competition represents the hard work and dedication of state DOTs across the country to meet the transportation needs of the communities we serve,” said David Bernhardt, president of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.  Bernhardt added, “For ten consecutive years, the America’s Transportation Awards have given state DOTs the recognition they deserve for providing the essential connections that keep people, goods, and our economy moving forward.”

In addition, MassDOT has been notified by the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (IBTTA) that the AET project is being honored because the project is an example of how MassDOT, and several other awardees, are “implementing solutions to complex, global transportation challenges.” In a press release, issued by IBTTA, the group says MassDOT’s AET program is one of six award winners in the nation for “revolutionizing mobility for drivers,” and that MassDOT and other winning entities will be presented with 2017 International Toll Excellence honors at IBTTA’s 85th Annual Meeting and Exhibition in Atlanta on September 12, 2017.

Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack said MassDOT appreciates these honors, “Implementing All Electronic Tolling has been a key strategy in MassDOT’s efforts to focus on better serving our customers.  Thanks to great work by the men and women of MassDOT and our contractors, the transition has gone smoothly and users of the Mass Pike are benefiting from faster travel times. This project is being recognized because MassDOT used smart logistics and focused on customer safety and convenience in successfully implementing this complicated project.  I also want to thank the driving public which continues to cooperate with MassDOT’s efforts to ensure safety in the two dozen work zones still in place to finish up the job by reconstructing the Turnpike.”

“On behalf of the men and women of MassDOT, I want to thank these organizations for recognizing our transition to all electronic tolling,” said Acting Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “We continue now with road reconstruction work in 23 work zones and activities are on or ahead of schedule at all locations. In addition, we believe the public has started to realize the goals of the program which include increased safety, relief from traffic congestion in former toll plaza areas, and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.”

The transition to an AET system began last fall when manual toll collections on I-90 ended on October 28. Each of the 23 work zones on I-90 has had its own management, design, and construction plan. Road reconstruction activities in the all work zones around former toll plazas are on schedule to be completed by the end of this calendar year.

In transitioning to AET, MassDOT recognized that some travelers would be unaware of the transition from manual toll collections and therefore announced a “grace period” during which drivers who have received a Pay By Plate bill have had the opportunity to apply for a transponder and, after paying the bill in full and opening an E-ZPass account, to receive an automatic credit on their new E-ZPass account equal to the difference between the Pay By Plate and E-ZPassMA rate. This “grace period” applied to any Pay By Plate bill drivers received for the first 6 months after October 28, 2016, and still applies to a driver’s first Pay By Plate bill.

Members of the public can obtain a free a transponder or take advantage of the continuing “grace period” policy by going online to www.ezdrivema.com or by calling the service center at 1-877-627-7745. Customers may also visit locations in-person and the EZDriveMA website has a list of those locations.

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