In response to public feedback, the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority on June 22 added with dedicated lanes for E-ZPass.
RITBA has now enacted a grace period for those who used the E-ZPass-only lanes by accident because they were unaccustomed to the new configuration.
The grace period will end on Aug. 1 when RITBA will enforce its unpaid toll schedule.
During the amnesty period, the toll remains $2/axle (which is $4 for passenger vehicles). Starting Aug. 1, all who use Open Road Tolling (ORT) lanes without a valid transponder will be responsible for a $5/axle toll fee.
“If drivers are unsure about which lane they should be in, it’s always best to choose the right-hand lanes,” said David Darlington, chairman of RITBA. “The lanes with gates and staffed toll booths will accept payments in cash or by E-ZPass. However, if drivers don’t have valid transponders and use the E-ZPass-only lanes, they will incur additional costs. To avoid that from happening, we advise drivers to stay alert and choose the correct lane.
“In order to be fair and responsible to the vast majority who do pay, RITBA must collect unpaid tolls. It’s a relatively nominal charge to pay by mail. For the drivers who deliberately avoid toll payments, we must enact a toll schedule that offsets the costs to collect delinquent tolls,” said Darlington.
Cameras positioned on the plaza’s overhead gantry take photographs of license plates of the vehicles using the E-ZPass lanes without valid transponders. The first-notice fee will be $5/axle, due in 14 calendar days.