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Tobin Bridge AerialMassDOT Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack announced changes to the fine structure to the all-electronic, Pay-By-Plate, toll collection system on the Tobin Bridge. Additionally, Secretary Pollack also announced a 30-day amnesty program that starts Monday, June 1, where drivers can simply pay the amount of outstanding tolls and will have all late payment fines waived. Both the new fine structure and the 30-day toll amnesty apply exclusively to the Tobin Bridge.

“While the use of the new All-Electronic Tolling technology has certainly proved its worth, piloting the system first on the Tobin Bridge taught us some valuable lessons. Too many of our customers were incurring hundreds or even thousands of dollars in late payment fines,” said Secretary Pollack. “The goal of the program should be payment, not punishment. We can ensure that our customers pay their tolls with much smaller late payment fines that are fair, reasonable, and will not result in substantial charges to people who may have missed the notifications. And no one will ever incur more than $500 per year in late payment fees.”

The Tobin Bridge’s All-Electronic Tolling system was activated on July 21, 2014, and eliminated the need to pay tolls in cash. The system employs a dual technology that detects E-ZPass transponders, or for vehicles without transponders, captures an image of the registration plate and sends an invoice to the address listed on the vehicle registration.

Known as Pay-By-Plate, vehicles without transponders that cross the Tobin Bridge are mailed invoices and reminder notices based on a monthly billing cycle. Subsequent reminder invoices and notices of non-payment are accompanied by a fine structure that was modeled after the structure that has been in place on the Turnpike since 2000.

“This new structure is the result of a thorough review that incorporated a substantial amount of public feedback into the final product,” said MassDOT Highway Administrator Thomas J. Tinlin. “At the end of the day, our goal is to collect tolls, and we feel that this new structure is a way to ensure that continues without unduly burdening drivers with substantial fines.”

Under the new structure for the Tobin Bridge, fines will be assessed according to the following:

· A $1 late fee will be added to every unpaid Pay-By-Plate toll after an invoice goes unpaid for 30 days;

· An additional $1 will be added to each toll transaction after 60 days of non-payment, and another $1 after 90 days;

· Under the maximum fines allowed, each unpaid Tobin Bridge toll transaction will be capped at $6; also at that time, the vehicle owner’s driver’s license and vehicle registration will be placed in a non-renew status, until the toll balance and fines are resolved. Also at this stage, there is an additional $20 fee to remove the hold on driver’s license and vehicle registration renewals.
Additionally, beginning Monday, June 1, 2015, MassDOT is offering a 30-day toll amnesty program, whereby Tobin Bridge Pay-By-Plate customers with outstanding balances have the opportunity to pay tolls only in full, with all fines waived dating back to July 21, 2014. The 30-day amnesty also includes the suspension of the $20 fee to remove the hold on registration and driver’s license renewals.

Programming changes are under way to roll back Tobin Bridge fines and to allow for the amnesty program to begin on Monday, June 1, 2015. To facilitate the programming and transition, the phone and online Pay-By-Plate payment options will be suspended for the weekend and will be available Monday morning.

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