Thursday, September 13, 2018

Garden State Parkway's exact change lanes to be phased out

Say goodbye to exact change lanes along the Garden State Parkway.

The New Jersey Turnpike Authority announced on Wednesday that coin lanes will be replaced with full service or E-ZPass lanes, with work slated to begin on September 24.

All lanes affected by the change are along the mainline barrier plazas, from Cape May north to the New York State border. South Jersey plazas affected include Cape May and Great Egg.

The NJTA noted that no changes will be made to entry and exit ramp tolls. The 23 tolls will retain their automatic coin machines. For those who do not have E-ZPass, exact change can still be used, but instead of throwing it into a basket, they will hand it to an employee.

According to the authority, coin machines are "nearing the end of their useful life and have become expensive and difficult to maintain."

A statement went on to explain that less than five percent of drivers used the coin machines in 2017, while nearly 83 percent of transactions were paid with E-ZPass.

Short-term closures are expected at some toll lanes will the changes are being implemented. Work is expected to take place within six weeks, with two plazas a week being completed.

Two different crews will work on the plazas, one working north while the other works south. Pascack Valley and Cape May will be worked on first, followed by Bergen and Great Egg, Essex and New Gretna, Union and Barnegat, Toms River and Raritan and finally, Asbury Park.

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