New NC toll road causing out-of-state confusion

December 20, 2011 10:05:02 AM PST
One Raleigh family found out transponders don't work out of state

North Carolina's first toll road is now open and in a few weeks you'll have to start paying the price to drive it.

Drivers will use transponders to pay their tolls. The transponders - known as the NC Quick Pass here and EZ pass in other states - eliminates the need for tollbooths, because you just drive right through and it takes the money from your account.

However, the NC Quick Pass does not work with other state systems, as one Raleigh family found out.

"We do a lot of traveling up to New Jersey and Maine all of which use the EZ pass system," Nancy Torborg said.

She says that is what attracted her to the NC Quick Pass

"We don't need it for the Durham Toll way, but we would totally use it for going back and forth visiting our parents all the time," Torborg said. "It was to save all the time and hassle strictly on 95, going through Baltimore Harbor Tunnel, the turnpike."

Torborg claims when her husband bought the two transponders back in October from the North Carolina Department of Transportation, they were told they could use it in other states that use the EZ pass system.

The Torborgs say the night before Thanksgiving  they were heading to New York and tried to use their NC Quick Pass in Maryland.

"We go through the EZ pass lane and it says call service center," Torborg said.

She says they called the service center, but with it being so late, did not get anyone, so they continued on their trip.

"We get to the turnpike, instead of spitting out ticket, nothing happened, again got note that said call service center, drove the length of the turnpike and we ended up in a manned lane and the guy said that's fine just go through it took it off your toll," Torborg said.

She says as they passed through more EZ pass lanes something didn't seem right.

"It kept flashing call service center, call service center," Torborg said.

On the way home to North Carolina, she says they paid cash for all the tolls since their North Carolina transponders did not seem to be working.  She thought nothing about it, until recently.

"I got a bill from NY transit authority that said we owed them money and we owed them a pretty big fine so far," Torborg said.

The fine amounted to $50.00. The good news was since it was their first offense, if they paid the$ 12 toll within 15 days, the $50 fine would be waived.

"If you bought one of these transponders thinking you could use it over Christmas think again, you will not be able to use it, you should probably take it out of your car, because the system will try and ding it," Torborg said.

When I contacted the NC DOT, they said this is the first they've heard of any confusion like this.  He says while one day they hope the NC Quick Pass will work with other states.  Currently, now the Triangle Expressway is the only place the transponder will work, which is stated on their website and in the directions that come with the quick pass. 

So don't go on any trips this holiday season thinking you can use it to pay tolls in other states, as again it only works here in North Carolina.

For more information on the NC Quick pass, head to https://www.myncquickpass.com/en/home/index.shtml

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