TOLL BY PLATE Invoice Mailings Now Underway; TOLL BY PLATE Customers Encouraged to Avoid Hassle with E-ZPass Accounts from Bridge’s Toll Processor
The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission today announced the release of a new video that explains how non-E-ZPass-equipped motorists will get billed for tolls when crossing the Scudder Falls (I-295) Toll Bridge in the Pennsylvania-bound direction.
The video is 6-minutes, 20-seconds. It is posted on Vimeo at https://vimeo.com/350995153 and on YouTube at https://youtu.be/nHjB0UGS2JM. A link to the video also is prominently posted on the Scudder Falls Bridge Replacement Project’s website homepage – www.scudderfallsbridge.com.
The video consists of filmed footage, animation, and other graphic content, accompanied by background music and narration. It explains how the toll assessment and billing process works from split seconds before a PA-bound vehicle passes at highway speeds beneath the bridge’s overhead all-electronic toll (AET) gantry to when a vehicle’s registered owner receives mailed TOLL BY PLATE invoices for accumulated tolls.
The video’s release coincides with the current issuance of TOLL BY PLATE invoices to vehicle owners who already have amassed $50 or more in toll charges since the onset of toll collections on July 14. TOLL BY PLATE invoices are sent via U.S. Mail to a vehicle’s owner when $50 in accumulated tolls are recorded, or after 30 days of an initial toll transaction, whichever comes first.
The lion’s share of early invoice mailings have been to trucking companies, but the number of invoice mailings is expected to rise in coming weeks as infrequent bridge users begin receiving their first invoices. Even some E-ZPass account holders can receive invoices, if their toll transponders are not correctly mounted or are inoperable.
As is the case at other AET facilities around the country, the bridge’s TOLL BY PLATE rates are significantly higher than E-ZPass rates. The base E-ZPass rate for a car crossing in the PA-bound direction at the Scudder Falls Toll Bridge is $1.25. By contrast, the TOLL BY PLATE rate for that same vehicle is $2.60. TOLL BY PLATE rates are more expensive due to the additional costs of conducting license plate searches in state motor vehicle records, preparing and mailing invoices, and then processing payments when they are received.
Payment can be made with a check or credit card by mail. Payment also may be made online or by phone through the Bridge Commission’s toll processor – the regional New Jersey E-ZPass Customer Service Center.
The video explains how TOLL BY PLATE customers risk being hit with additional fees and penalties if they fail to provide payment on their mailed invoices by their respective due dates. Failure to pay the first invoice on time results in the issuance of a second invoice with an additional $5 processing fee. Failure to pay that second invoice on time will cause the toll transactions to be reclassified as toll violations. A toll violation notice will then be sent and each unpaid toll transaction will be hit with a respective $30 violation fee.
The video provides an abridged example of a non-E-ZPass motorist who crosses the bridge PA-bound five times within three weeks. The full process is as follows:
· After 30 days from the first toll, the motorist receives an initial invoice for five $2.60 TOLL BY PLATE transactions adding up to $13. The invoice advises motorists to remit payment within 15 days, but the due date is 30 days from issuance.
· If that invoice goes unpaid, a second invoice is issued with an additional $5 processing fee. The TOLL BY PLATE customer’s cost has now risen to $18. The customer now has an additional 30 days to make payment.
· If payment is not received again by the second prescribed due date, the vehicle owner would be determined to be in violation. A violation notice is then mailed with a violation fee – $30 – applied to each individual overdue toll transaction. The new cost is exponentially higher – $168; the vehicle owner has another 30 days to pay.
· If payment is not received by this third due date, a second violation notice is sent for the $168 and the vehicle owner gets an additional 30 days to pay.
· Non-payment by this final due date results in the violation being sent to a collection agency (120 days will have passed since the issuance of the initial toll invoice). Continued non-payment also may result in revocation of a vehicle’s registration.
Because of the inherent savings and convenience of E-ZPass use, the video encourages TOLL BY PLATE customers to get E-ZPass. As previously noted, the entity that processes the new bridge’s toll transactions is the regional NJ E-ZPass Customer Service Center. Accounts may be established with this E-ZPass service provider by going to www.ezpassnj.com or I-888-AUTO-TOLL (1-88-288-6865). This regional toll processor – which is not a New Jersey state government agency – has served the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission for more than five years.
For answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about tolling at the Scudder Falls Toll Bridge, go to: www.scudderfallsbridge.com/tolling/.
For toll rates at the Scudder Falls Toll Bridge, go to: http://www.drjtbc.org/travel-info/scudder-falls-toll-bridge-rates/.
More information on the Scudder Falls Bridge Replacement Project is available at www.scudderfallsbridge.com.