Tough on the poor
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Your Jan. 2 editorial, "Road to Savings," recommends motorists sign up for E-ZPass. Recent ads by the Turnpike Commission encourage us to sign up and save up to 25 percent when using the turnpike. Although I use E-ZPass for its speed and convenience, I would like to point out a few other thoughts regarding consumers who cannot afford it.
First, to sign up for E-ZPass requires a credit card, and money needs to be advanced into an E-ZPass account. Additionally, the Turnpike Commission can obtain more funds from you without asking. Individuals who do not have credit cards, or have limited income, cannot afford to participate. So the Pennsylvania Turnpike is charging the poor more to travel.
Second, the goal of E-ZPass is to eliminate workers. So the turnpike, a state institution, is putting folks out of work.
Third, visitors to our state who rent a car and do not pay for an E-ZPass card for their rental will pay more. Even with an E-ZPass card in a rental car, rental card fees for E-ZPass usage are high.
Fourth, with E-ZPass, the credit card companies collect fees. What is the turnpike paying?
Fifth, new interchanges on the turnpike already have eliminated non-E-ZPass options. The recently opened Malvern interchange near Philadelphia accepts only E-ZPass; there is no cash option.
I am not sure who the Turnpike Commission reports to, but they know how to sell an unjust, illogical program without being challenged.
First Published January 9, 2013 12:00 am