All-Electronic Tolling’s First Test: Monday’s Morning Commute

The future is now.

Photo via AP

Photo via AP

All-electronic tolling officially hit the Massachusetts Turnpike late last Friday night. But the first true test of the Mass. Pike’s massive overhaul comes with the Monday morning commute.

Instead of stopping at toll plazas and fishing that precious last quarter from the crevices of the passenger seat, the thousands of drivers that frequent the MassPike each day will cruise under any number of the 16 new gantries, which will photograph your license plate and send a bill to the corresponding address, if you don’t have E-ZPass.

Of course, the tollbooths still must be uprooted from the route, turning the middle lanes into construction zones. The entire transition is expected to take one year. A Northeastern University traffic expert told the Globe that those traveling along the Pike around 8:45 could experience the worst of the congestion, particularly around the Allston-Brighton tolls—or what’s left of them.

All-electronic tolling is expected to save around $5 million in operating costs each year, according to officials. The destruction of the tollbooths is expected to cost as much as $132.8 million.