Sunday, August 23, 2009
Not so EZ to PASS
Today I rode the pike - the PA Turnpike and had a deja vu interaction with a toll collector. As I roll up to the ticket booth, the green light illuminates, indicating that I am free and clear to roll on through because I have an EZ Pass on my windshield. Only...I don't have an EZ Pass on my windshield. This has happened once before, but I'm fairly certain it was in my old car. So, I become that annoying person who holds up the whole lane because now I have to push the "Press To Talk" button. And I press it and I talk, but there is no response. Then I see a rather perturbed looking gentleman sauntering from the office. He approaches my car. I explain that I don't have EZ Pass. He tells me that the machine says I do. But I don't. He asks if I've been here before. I ask, "In life?". Yes, I've been through this particular crossroads before. Can I have a ticket, please? People are honking, people are unhappy. I'd be unhappy too. In fact, I am unhappy. Just give me the ticket. (Keep in mind that without this ticket, if I had rolled on through, when I exited the turnpike in Willow Grove, I would have had to pay the maximum toll for the entire state.) He proceeds to tell me I should get my car checked out because the machine says I have an EZ Pass. So, what exactly would they be looking for? A little white box that was gifted to me and is being paid by a mysterious benefactor? Mind you, the light NEVER illuminates on the other end of my trip, when it may actually save me a few dollars, just the beginning, when I need the ticket. The last time this happened (because, yes, it's happened before), the toll collector looked right at my GPS and said, see you have an EZ Pass. Don't you think I'd know if I had one? So, riddle me this - is there a chip in my brain that's causing all this confusion? Has anyone else ever had this experience? Or am I the last holdout who doesn't have an EZ Pass yet?