Rooney E-ZPass bills protecting New Jersey drivers clear committee

A package of pro-commuter bills sponsored by Assemblyman Kevin J. Rooney and Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick protecting New Jersey’s E-ZPass customers who use New York’s bridges and tunnels from being overcharged, cleared an Assembly panel today.

The Assembly Transportation Committee unanimously approved the bills.

The legislation is in response to an AAA study that found drivers who purchased E-ZPass tags from out of state agencies are being charged the cash rate instead of the discount rate at New York bridges and tunnels operated by the Metropolitan Transit Authority. Between 2012 and 2016, of the 92 million out-of-towners who didn’t receive the discount rate, 70 million were New Jersey drivers.

“One of the primary reasons E-ZPass was created was to offer drivers discounted rates, but we now know certain drivers are being given preferential treatment only because their E-ZPass was issued by a New York agency,” said Rooney (R-Bergen). “These bills are an effort to level the playing field for our commuters and ensure the integrity of the E-ZPass system.”

“Millions of New Jersey drivers are being unfairly penalized,” said Bramnick (R-Union). “EZ-Pass discounted rates should apply equally to all drivers regardless of where they purchased their pass.”

The first bill (A5147) directs the New Jersey Turnpike Authority to update its website to warn New Jersey E-ZPass customers that discounts at out-of-state toll facilities may not be applicable to New Jersey E-ZPass customers.

The second (AR284) urges the MTA to provide discounts to New Jersey customers, and the third (AR285) encourages the NJTA and MTA to enter into a reciprocity agreement to provide E-ZPass discounts to residents of both states.