Latest News, WVPA Sharing

New E-ZPass program available by end of year

By ANDREA LANNOM

The Register-Herald

CHARLESTON, W.Va.  — The new single-fee E-ZPass program will be available by the end of the year, according to the West Virginia Parkways Authority.

Gov. Jim Justice last week signed Senate Bill 1003, which gives Parkways the ability to issue revenue bonds to finance roads projects and allows tolls to be collected electronically. Bonds connected to toll revenue are for projects in 10 southern West Virginia counties contiguous to the turnpike.

Parkways General Manager Greg Barr said the first step of this process is to conduct a traffic and revenue study to determine the level of tolls needed to sell bonds, according to a Parkways Authority news release. This new toll rate structure will include an annual single flat fee for passenger vehicles using West Virginia E-ZPass.

These passes are available to out-of-state residents, as well, and the program is optional.

“The authority anticipates that the bonds will be sold and the new toll rate structure, including the single fee for passenger cars, will be in place by the end of this year,” Barr said. “Much work will be needed to get to that point, including public meetings in the four counties (Kanawha, Fayette, Raleigh and Mercer) adjacent to the turnpike.”

The new single-fee plan will be used only for unlimited use of the turnpike or any other toll facilities that may be built in West Virginia in the future. No existing road may be tolled. It has to be a new road, widening of an existing road or new bridge.

Residents will continue to be able to add funds to their account to use the E-ZPass transponder on other tolling facilities throughout the country, the release said.

Before the new program and toll rate structure become effective, residents can continue to sign up for the E-ZPass using two passenger car discount plans currently available, Barr said.

The Parkways bill is part of Justice’s overall roads package.

Last week, Justice also announced residents will vote Oct. 7 on whether to approve the issuance of $1.6 billion of state bonds to build and upgrade the state’s roads and bridges.

Justice has previously said this amendment, called the Roads to Prosperity, is necessary to implement his vision of creating 48,000 road-building jobs.

Two weeks ago, Justice also signed Senate Bill 1006, which increases money in the State Road Fund. That bill increased Division of Motor Vehicles fees. It increased the privilege tax for purchasing a car from 5 percent to 6 percent and increased the minimum average of wholesale gas tax by 3.5 cents a gallon.

See more from The Register-Herald

Comments are closed.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

And get our latest content in your inbox

Invalid email address