Up here in the Northeast, cash toll booths are a rapidly dwindling natural resource. It seems like every day, more and more roads are switching to transponder-based methods of tolling — and only transponder-based methods of tolling. But while actually passing through an E-ZPass booth is simple enough, the process of preparing your car has long been frustrating.
You need to register online, buy the transponder, wait for it to be shipped to you, activate it. By the time you’re through every step in the process, you’ve already made it to Grandmother’s house — taking the river-and-woods path to avoid making exact change on toll roads. But now, there’s a better way: E-ZPass On-The-Go, a program that lets you buy an E-ZPass from a retail location rather than sign up through the mail and wait for your transponder to be shipped to you.
I learned about On-The-Go the same way you may be right now: by realizing far too late that I need an E-ZPass tag for Thanksgiving travel. See, I’m considering taking my motorcycle on an ill-advised trip to visit family over Thanksgiving, rather than the train, but that’s next week — if I ordered an E-ZPass today, it’s unlikely the transponder would be shipped to me in time. Rather than missing a trip, or having to fumble nickels from my jacket pocket, I decided on a more convenient solution: just go to Wegmans and buy an E-ZPass in person.
Yeah, it’s that simple. You can buy On-The-Go transponders at grocery stores, DMVs, rest stops (though one wonders how you’re getting to the rest stop without one) — it’s far more convenient than ordering online. Sure, you still have to activate the transponder, but that’s simple enough to do online. The tag even comes pre-loaded at the time of your purchase, so it’s ready to use as soon as it’s linked to an account.
So, this holiday season, don’t get stuck at the toll booth while fumbling with cupholder change; and definitely don’t get slapped with the fee for driving through an E-ZPass lane without an account. It’s not too late to pick up an E-ZPass transponder, and keep your windows rolled up on those cold November drives.