As a frequent user of the New York State Thruway, I was anxious to utilize the E-ZPass system encouraged by the Thruway Authority. But I find myself puzzled as to why we are urged to use the E-ZPass when, at many toll barriers, there is seldom an E-ZPass lane open.
On one particularly busy day, I asked a collector this very question. To my amazement, I was told that if they have a booth strictly for E-ZPass users, others without passes would have to wait too long. Therefore, they use the booths for all drivers. Apparently, it does not matter that we E-ZPass users have already paid on our accounts -- we can wait in line just like everyone else.
Isn't the point of having a pass that we won't have to wait? Those of us who have tried to accommodate the new innovations of modern times are no better off.
There are potential savings here the Thruway Authority does not seem to appreciate. Having an E-ZPass lane open at every toll barrier saves the cost of manning a booth. As more individuals become users of this system, there should be more than one lane available.
As a suggestion, it would be helpful if the Thruway Authority posted a sign in advance of the booth -- perhaps a mile or a half-mile away -- as to the location of the E-ZPass lane. This would eliminate last-minute lane changes. Why bother to institute this system if the "Thruway gods" don't intend to do their part and make a lane always accessible at every toll exit?