For Whom the Toll Surprises

When we rented our car at the Philadelphia Airport, the rental agent offered us a package deal for $25.00 to cover the cost of all toll roads we encountered. At the time we had no idea we would find so many toll roads in this part of the country.

What is with all the toll roads any way? Have we returned to the Middle Ages?

Traveling between Washington D.C. and Philadelphia we encountered toll roads in Maryland, Delaware, and Pennsylvania.

At one point in Maryland we saw a sign warning us we were approaching yet another toll road, but we never saw anything else to indicate we’d entered one. No change in the highway. No tollbooth. Nothing.

AET Gantry

Ten days after we returned home we received a surprise in the mail. Low and behold, we had passed through an AET system without knowing it. All Electronic Tolling scans your license plate as you drive under a metal gantry. Then sends the bill through the mail.

AET systems are the wave of the future. They may be faster than slowing down to get your ticket or stopping to pay your fee. However, they’ll put more people out of work.

Travel Light Humor
The Pennsylvania Turnpike was intended to become a free road once it was paid off. However, maintenance fees and other extras have been added over the years to keep it “state of the art.” Who knows now if it’ll ever be paid off?

This prompted one local to quip: “Toll roads in Pennsylvania are in perpetuity.”
Travel Tips
• Pay careful attention to all the highway signs.
• Watch out for Maryland’s AET toll road 200.
• Avoid EZPass Tagholders Only lanes unless you do indeed have a valid EZPass.
• Remember to take your ticket at all tollbooths.
• If you forget to take your ticket (even from an unmanned tollbooth) you’ll be charged the maximum fee for traveling on that road since you can’t prove where you first entered the highway.
• According to a friend who has worked in a tollbooth for years, “You’d be amazed how many people end up paying the maximum fine because they weren’t paying attention and didn’t get a ticket.”
• If you plan to spend much time in a rental car on the roads between D.C. and Philadelphia, consider it carefully if your car rental company offers a package deal. We broke even without the deal, but one more toll road and we would have spent more than the $25.00 package offered to us.

Have you had any tollbooth surprises? Where? Tell me in the comments below. Or, if you’re too embarrassed to put your name online for everyone to see, you can always send a private message to me via the contact tab above.

Until next time . . . Travel Light,
© 2017 SuZan Klassen

4 thoughts on “For Whom the Toll Surprises

  1. Major tolls leaving Tulsa last weekend …… and we didn’t have enough change in the car to toss in. We had to stop at one point and ask people in another car for change for a dollar. A real headache !

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