E-ZPass applications available beginning on Monday
"Tokens are part of the nostalgia of the Newport Bridge. So much a part of the nostalgia that the last time we had to order parts for the token machines, we had to get them from Australia," RITBA Chairman David Darlington said. "The time for EZ Pass has definitely come."
RITBA made the announcement in conjunction with U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy's presentation of $500,000 in funding he secured for the implementation and installation of the E-ZPass system. Kennedy said the new system would provide a service to the users of the bridge, aid in attracting tourism and help reduce the amount of emissions from cars idling at the tollbooth.
Authority officials are aiming to have the system online in mid-December. E-ZPass officials called the time line "industrious," but vowed to work with RITBA to implement the system on time.
Transponders may be paid for by cash, check, credit card, or debit cards with a credit card logo. "We prefer credit or debit cards because that is how the system is set up, to be tied to a credit card account," RITBA Executive Director Buddy Croft said.
The rate for Rhode Island residents will be 83-cents per crossing with a Rhode Island transponder. The cash rate will remain at $2 and the out-of state transponder rate will be $1.75.
Residents who owned transponders from other states prior to Sept. 24 will be eligible for up to $25 credited to their Rhode Island EZPass account. A credit of $10 will be given for the purchase of one transponder and an additional $15 for the second transponder.
Families may have up to four transponders on one account and businesses are eligible for an unlimited number. The cost for the first transponder is $10. The second transponder will cost $15 and each additional transponder will be $20.95.
A $25 deposit is required for each account, and when the account falls below $10, an additional $15 will be added to keep the account at a $25 level.
The Newport Pell Bridge will be the 50th site using the E-ZPass system in the Eastern United States.
Applications may be picked up at the office adjacent to the toll plaza from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday.
During the month of November, applications will also be available at Naval Undersea Warfare Center, building 80, from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., on Nov. 4, 6, 13 and 18.
They will also be available at the Community College of Rhode Island in Newport on Thursday, Nov. 6, from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 12, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Thursday, Nov. 20, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Online applications will be available Monday, Dec. 8. For more information on E-ZPass, visit www. ritba.org