Marshall Township – Pennsylvania Turnpike officials announced that starting Saturday, June 26th, 2004 at 1 p.m. an Express E-ZPass lane will be opened to E-ZPass customers traveling westbound at the Warrendale Mainline Toll Plaza, the western terminus of the Turnpike's ticket system located in Allegheny County. The eastbound express lane has been open since June 2, 2004. However, on Saturday, from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. , the eastbound express lanes will be closed due to median barrier installation. E-ZPass customers traveling eastbound must use E-ZPass lanes three and four adhering to the 5 mph speed limit.
The Warrendale Mainline Toll Plaza (#30) in Western Pennsylvania is the state's first location for the installation of Express E-ZPass where customers can travel at highway speed through a specially designated express lane at the toll plaza and have their toll paid electronically.
E-ZPass customers have had to slow down to 5 mph as they proceeded through the E-ZPass lanes at the Warrendale toll plaza. The new speed limit for E-ZPass customers in the Express E-ZPass lanes will be 55 mph. The speed limit in E-ZPass lanes at all other interchanges remains 5 mph.
“Getting through the toll facility faster means that you have more time at home or at work, whatever the destination,” said Brimmeier. “Certainly, with everyone's hectic lives and busy lifestyles, we can all use a little more time.”
Brimmeier said that other locations for installation of Express E-ZPass are being considered at other mainline toll plazas like Gateway #2, M52 on the Mon/Fayette Expressway, the proposed I-95 interchange, Delaware River Bridge #359, and Mid-County #20 and Wyoming Valley #115 on the Northeastern Extension. Specific time frames for installation have not been determined. (more)
“We've made the commitment to make E-ZPass even better by installing this new technology at Warrendale, the western terminus of our ticket system,” he said. “Not only will Express E-ZPass enhance and increase convenience for our customers, we're confident it will reduce congestion and increase safety at the plaza.”
The Express E-ZPass lanes at Warrendale are physically separated from the current E-ZPass lanes and ticket lanes by means of concrete median barrier. E-ZPass motorists will use the left-hand lane approaching the facility, while cash-paying customers should stay to the right.
Turnpike officials emphasized that both ticket and E-ZPass customers must pay special attention to new signs posted approaching the Warrendale Plaza. They added that if a customer mistakenly enters the express lanes, the customer should definitely not stop or even slow down but keep traveling. “Stopping or slowing down with oncoming traffic is dangerous and creates a serious safety hazard,” said Brimmeier. “ Instead we want customers, traveling westbound, who mistakenly get into the express lanes to continue traveling, but keep their ticket.
Brimmeier explained that customers, who mistakenly enter the express lane, must be mindful that cameras have taken an image of their license plate and they will receive a notice in the mail. When the notice arrives, customers should send the toll ticket and payment for the actual toll due, along with the remittance portion of the notice to the address listed. Customers should not attempt to pay their toll at the toll plaza.
Since the start of E-ZPass on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, three and a half years ago, more than a half million E-ZPass transponders have been issued to Pennsylvania Turnpike customers. The Commission records 5.5 million E-ZPass transactions a month. Nearly 42 percent of all toll transactions, passenger and commercial, are E-ZPass transactions, and at some of the Turnpike's busiest interchanges, that number increases to over 50 percent.
Brimmeier added that in the Commission's continuing effort to enhance E-ZPass and respond to growing E-ZPass enrollment, 18 additional E-ZPass entry lanes will be added at interchanges across the system over the next few months. Interchanges that will get additional E-ZPass lanes include Gateway # 2, Butler Valley #39, Allegheny Valley #49, Pittsburgh #57, Irwin #67, Breezewood #161, Harrisburg East #247, Valley Forge #326, Philadelphia # 351 and Mid-County #20.