PA Turnpike: In E-ZPass We Trust, and You Should Too

The turnpike wants to educate drivers to some changes arriving soon at toll booths.

photos by evan custer


The Pennsylvania turnpike will no longer tell you as you breeze through an E-ZPass toll booth if your balance is low.

The feedback signal lights in the booths that prompt a yellow "Low Bal" or a green "Thank You" are a reassuring sign that the technology works, but the turnpike plans to remove them by the end of the year.

“Signal light technology currently in use has become outdated and cumbersome,” explains PTC Chief Operating Officer Craig Shuey in a statement. “As the Commission prepares to update toll equipment in the lanes with more modern hardware and software, we are incorporating new federal signage standards.

“While the removal of signals may cause some initial confusion, it will soon become the norm as our customers adjust to the change.”

There are 90 interchanges along the turnpike and the removal process is expected to take until the end of the year.

The turnpike recommends drivers periodically check their accounts online for any potential problems. Charges on an account noted as a “V-toll” could indicate a potential issue with the transponder. Drivers can also set-up their E-ZPass to automatically add money whenever their balance runs low.

As long as there is money in your account, the turnpike says there is little to worry about.

“Transponders will accurately read 99.9 percent of the time when properly mounted,” commission spokeswoman Rosanne Placey told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “Typically, your transponder's battery will last for seven to 10 years.”

Customers with questions about an E-ZPass account, including whether a transponder is working properly, should contact the PA Turnpike E-ZPass Customer Service Center at 877/736-6727, Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

To log into an existing E-ZPass account or set up a new one, visit

Categories: The 412