The Toll to Savings and Discounts

If you plan to take a long road trip or live in an area where you have to pay tolls to get around, I highly recommend installing the E-Z Pass (or an equivalent electronic toll collection system in your state).  The E-Z Pass is made up of 25 transportation agencies from over 14 states in northeastern United States (for complete list, click here).  In other words, once you get it, you can road trip from Maine to as far as Virginia in the south or Illinois to the west without having to stop once to pay a toll. 

More than just the speed and convenience of the system, there are two major monetary reasons for getting an E-Z Pass.  First, depending on the agency/state in which you open your account, you may be eligible to discounts on tolls, especially if you are a resident of a certain district or you drive during off-peak hours.  Second, some states, such as Massachusetts and West Virginia, have enacted legislature to allow taxpayers to deduct certain commuter expenses (including E-Z Pass, up to a certain amount) from their gross income.

Before you sign up, however, do some calculations, as some agencies/states charge an initial fee for the transponder (as high as $25) and periodic maintennance fees (as high as $18 a year), to make sure that your driving needs justify getting an E-Z Pass.


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