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For Immediate Release: 05/28/2015
CONTACT: MassDOT Press Office: 857-368-8500

MassDOT Substantially Reduces Fines for Tobin Bridge Pay-By-Plate Customers

30-day toll amnesty for Tobin Bridge Pay-By-Plate to start Monday, June 1, 2015

BOSTON – Thursday, May 28, 2015 – Today, MassDOT 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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Background Information:

The fee structure applies to Pay-By-Plate Tobin Bridge tolls only; there are no changes to the penalty structure for the Turnpike or the Sumner and Ted Williams tunnels.

The amnesty program will begin on Monday, June 1, 2015, and will last for 30 days.  Following the end of the amnesty, the new fee structure will be applied to second and subsequent toll invoices.

Methods of payment:

Effective Monday, June 1, 2015, Tobin Bridge Pay-By-Plate customers can check toll balances and make payment online at www.paybyplatema.com.

Payment can be made by phone at 1-877-627-7745.

In person, payments can be made at MassDOT’s E-ZPass Customer Service Centers located:

Inside the Square One Mall

1201 Broadway, Route 1 South

Saugus, MA 01906

27 Midstate Drive

Auburn, MA 01501

The Tunnel Administration Building

145 Havre Street

East Boston, MA 02128

The Natick Service Plaza, Turnpike/I-90 eastbound

Mile Marker 117

Natick, MA 01760

The Registry of Motor Vehicles Branch in Haymarket

136 Blackstone Street

Boston, MA 02109

MassDOT encourages drivers to sign up for E-ZPass transponders by visiting www.mass.gov/ezpassma; or by calling 1-877-627-7745. 

Passenger vehicles with E-ZPass transponders that cross the Tobin Bridge are assessed a toll of $2.50; Pay-By-Plate vehicles are assessed a $3 toll.  This is the same cost differential for passenger vehicles that existed prior to the implementation of cashless, All-Electronic Tolling system.

Revised Invoice Schedule for Tobin Bridge Pay-By-Plate tolls:

Initial invoice: for tolls within the preceding 30-day period, customers have 30 days to make payment.

Second invoice: each toll transaction is assessed a $1 fee; payment must be made within an additional 30 days from the date of the first invoice.

Third invoice – notice of non-payment: each toll transaction is assessed another $1, which must be paid within an additional 30 days (90 days from the date of the initial invoice).

Fourth invoice – notice of liability: each toll transaction is assessed another $1, with payment due in 30 days (120 days from the initial invoice).  The notice of liability also places a hold on the vehicle owner’s driver’s license and vehicle registration.  The hold cannot be removed until all tolls and fees are paid.

 

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