ryan.sandridge.org

Email to Virginia DOT

VDOT (vdotinfo@vdot.virginia.gov),

With all due respect, I believe that your consideration of imposing a $1/month/transponder fee is an abysmal idea. The use of these transponders should be reducing your costs, not increasing them. Furthermore, society on a whole benefits the more these transponders are utilized, as it relieves traffic congestion near toll booths, conserves fuel, and reduces carbon emissions. With this in mind, penalizing E-ZPass customers further (see below about the balance float on transponders) does not make sense.

E-ZPass (formerly Fastoll and then Smart Tag) has been in place in the DC area for more than 16 years. During this time, there has not been a need to charge a monthly fee. A security deposit is collected (currently $25) for each transponder. Furthermore toll payments are made in advance of toll usage when a minimum credit balance occurs. The amount prepaid carries a minimum of $35 per transponder. That is a lot of money to earn income off the "float".

If despite the revenue streams mentioned above, there is still an operational overhead for the program, I would suggest either adding a surcharge to drivers not using transponders at toll booths, or more favorably, simply incorporate those costs into the toll charged to ALL drivers. I believe this is reasonable since the use of the transponders benefits society on whole.

If you begin charging a monthly fee, my wife and I will likely return our transponders and quit using them. I suspect others will do the same. This will lead to more traffic congestion, more carbon emissions, and more fuel use. I implore you to reconsider this decision.

Regards,
Ryan Sandridge

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