Boston – The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) announced that All Electronic Tolling was successfully activated on Friday, October 28, and all existing toll plazas along I-90, (the Massachusetts Turnpike), are now set up with the temporary lane assignments needed for the first phase of toll plaza demolition and road reconstruction.

Last night, MassDOT crews and contractors mobilized along with law enforcement details in 23 work zones and at 10:06 p.m., All Electronic Tolling began. Sixteen gantry tolling locations are now collecting vehicle information as vehicles travel underneath. Vehicle owners with transponder accounts will have tolls deducted and owners without transponders will be sent invoices.

This morning, power was cut off to the existing toll plazas, and MassDOT contractors now are continuing to put in the place the logistical measures needed for toll plaza demolition and the road reconstruction process. Throughout the weekend, crews will continue to install concrete jersey barriers to guide drivers to the right and left lanes of toll plazas as the center toll booths are prepared to be demolished. Crews are now mobilized to also complete pavement markings for the temporary traffic patterns and to put heavy equipment in place for tasks such as removing the canopies over the toll booths. Drivers may experience slow-downs near toll plaza as equipment is mobilized and follow the directions of law enforcement officers and the instructions posted on signs. The following statistics are for the time period from Friday evening to this afternoon:

• Approximately 215,000 transactions were processed by the All Electronic Tolling gantries between 10 p.m., Friday, and 8 a.m., today.
• 435 personnel have been utilized for the activation of All Electronic Tolling and the beginning of the toll plaza demolition process. This number includes 117 public safety and law enforcement personnel and includes 318 MassDOT and contractor personnel.
• 69 dump trucks, excavators and other construction vehicles were utilized.
• E-ZPass customer service centers statewide processed 1,749 customers today between the hours of 7 a.m., and 4 p.m.
• The new All Electronic Tolling website, (www.EZDriveMA.com), was activated Friday at 10 p.m., to provide information on gantry rates, the hours and locations of Customer Service Centers, and the process for receiving a free transponder. This website functionality for transponder applications and customer account access will be activated on Tuesday, November 1, at 7 a.m. The migration of 1.7 million customer accounts and other data from the former ezpassma.com website to the new website is taking several days.

Drivers are cautioned that there are now 23 active construction zones at the existing toll plazas along I-90 and the posted speed limit is 15 mph through each of these construction zones. This speed limit will remain in place until November 22, as crews are involved in the process of demolishing the center areas of existing toll plazas and reconstructing the roadways in those center areas.

Drivers should allow extra time to reach destinations, consider traveling by mass transit if possible, and obey directions on posted signs and by law enforcement officers who will be present.

For traffic and road conditions, drivers may use the following options to make decisions:

• Travelers, before getting on the highway, may utilize the MassDOT Real-Time Traffic (“Go-Time”) informational displays which are set up along I-90 for east and westbound travel between Sturbridge and Boston by visiting this link: http://www.massdot.state.ma.us/highway/TrafficTravelResources/TrafficInformationMap.aspx
• The public may dial 511 and select a route to hear real-time conditions on I-90 and other roads.
• Visit www.mass511.com, a website which provides real-time traffic and incident advisory information, and allows users to subscribe to text and email alerts for traffic conditions.
• Access MassDOT traffic cameras, including 10 new cameras on I-90 added this week: http://www.massdot.state.ma.us/highway/TrafficTravelResources/TrafficInformationMap.aspx
• Download Waze, the real-time traffic navigation app that provides motorists with real-time traffic conditions across Massachusetts.
• Download the Ridewise app. Customers may use Ridewise to obtain travel times for various routes including portions of I-90. The app is available on Android and iPhone. Drivers are advised not to use the app if they are operating a motor vehicle.

The public is also advised that MassDOT has implemented a “grace period” for drivers without transponders if they then sign-up for an E-ZPassMA account as the Commonwealth transitions to All Electronic Tolling. MassDOT has also expanded hours at customer service centers for today and for Sunday, October 30, in order to meet the demand by the public this week for transponders, and to accommodate the weekend shutdown of its tolling websites (www.ezpassma.com and www.paybyplatema.com) and customer service hotline, which is necessary to transition to the new EZDriveMA system.

The grace period will ensure that vehicle owners who intend to get a transponder are not penalized for not having an active transponder.

The grace period will function as follows:

• If any driver without a transponder passes underneath an All Electronic Tolling gantry, the vehicle owner will receive a Pay By Plate invoice in the mail.
• The vehicle owner should pay the Pay By Plate invoice, and, if they wish, then choose to apply to receive a free transponder and will receive a credit for the difference between the Pay By Plate rate and the E-ZPassMA rate. After paying their Pay By Plate bill in full, customers will be credited the difference on their new E-ZPassMA account.
• Customers will be able to take advantage of this program online, or by calling or visiting a customer service center.
• After receiving that Pay By Plate invoice, if a customer logs on to MassDOT’s new website (www.EZDriveMA.com), the customer may convert their Pay by Plate account to an E-ZPass MA account by using the “convert” feature. This feature requires customers to pay their invoice in full and open a transponder account.
• For the first 6 months, this program will be offered on any current Pay By Plate bill a customer receives, and then after 6 months, on just the first Pay By Plate bill a new customer receives.
• During the first 6 months, in the event a customer ignores their first invoice, MassDOT will still honor the grace period and E-ZPassMA rate, but customers will still need to honor the late fines associated with the bill. MassDOT strongly discourages travelers from ignoring their Pay By Plate notices and encourages drivers to pay these invoices or contact the customer service center as soon as possible.

This grace period was instituted earlier this month as a result of comments made by the MassDOT Board of Directors at an August 2016 Board meeting. MassDOT also received a great amount of feedback from several public meetings held throughout the Commonwealth, and chose to implement this incentive discount program for drivers.

Customer walk-in service locations will be open with extended hours for in-person assistance and account signups for private individual accounts, (not commercial accounts) through the weekend.

Customers should note that only credit cards and checks will be accepted at these locations during “go-live” weekend. Customers who wish to pay in cash must wait until Tuesday, November 1, to do so at a service center. Please note that transponders issued during the weekend of October 28 may not be activated until up to 5 days later.

The location and hours over the weekend for service centers are as follows:

East Boston – 145 Havre Street
Saturday, Oct. 29: 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 30: 8 a. m. – 10 p.m.
Monday, Oct. 31: 7a.m. – 7 p.m.

Natick – Service Plaza on I-90, (the Massachusetts Turnpike), Eastbound at Mile Marker 117
Saturday, Oct. 29: 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 30: 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Monday, Oct. 31: 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Auburn – 27 Midstate Drive
Saturday, Oct. 29: 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 30: 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Monday, Oct. 31: 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Lee – Service Plaza on I-90, (the Massachusetts Turnpike), Eastbound, between Exits 1 and 2
Saturday, Oct. 29: 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 30: 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Monday, Oct. 31: 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Ludlow – Service Plaza on I-90, (the Massachusetts Turnpike), Eastbound (temporary sign up location)
Saturday, Oct. 29: 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 30: 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Monday, Oct. 31: 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Ludlow – Service Plaza on I-90, (the Massachusetts Turnpike), Westbound
Saturday, Oct. 29: 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 30: 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Monday, Oct. 31: 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Saugus – 1201 Broadway, Route 1 South
Saturday, Oct. 29: 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. (Closing time of the Square One Mall.)
Sunday, Oct. 30: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. (Closing time of the Square One Mall.)
Monday, Oct. 31: 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Charlton – Service Plaza on I-90, (the Massachusetts Turnpike), Eastbound (temporary sign up location)
Saturday, Oct. 29: 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 30: 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Monday, Oct. 31: 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Framingham – Service Plaza on I-90, (the Massachusetts Turnpike), Westbound (temporary sign up location)
Saturday, Oct. 29: 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 30: 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Monday, Oct. 31: 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Additionally, in-person signups will still be available at any RMV and Massachusetts AAA location during the office business hours. For a complete list of locations and hours please visit www.mass.gov/ezpassma.

The following directions also detail the steps needed to take advantage of the grace period:

Step 1: You will receive a bill in the mail

Step 2 &3: Go online and pay your bill (www.EZDriveMA.com) or call 1-877-627-7745 or visit one of our 7 service centers
Sign up with us for an E-ZPassMA transponder account

Step 4: We credit your new account for the difference between what you paid and the lower transponder rate

First 6 months: Customers can take advantage of this program on any bill they receive
After 6 months: The first bill a new customer receives

MassDOT appreciates the patience of the public during the transition from manual toll collection and believes community members will soon see the benefits of electronic tolls, including, an increase in safety, a lessening of traffic congestion, and a reduction of greenhouse gases.

MassDOT will continue to have a robust public outreach process to inform about the progress of toll plaza demolition, new lanes of traffic patterns on I-90, and other AET developments with the use of real-time signboards along roads, via its Twitter feed, (@MassDOT), and through other communication tools.

Drivers are encouraged to plan ahead and allow extra time for travel. Members of the public with concerns or questions can email Aetinfo@dot.state.ma.us. For more information about gantry rates and for other details about the implementation of the EZDriveMA program, please visit: www.massdot.state.ma.us/allelectronictolling