Transponders that drivers use to pay to ride on the Triangle Expressway at a discount will soon be available for a new low price: free.
The N.C. Turnpike Authority will begin giving away N.C. Quick Pass transponders on Aug. 30. Changes in the technology used to read the transponders and send drivers a bill has reduced the cost of the transponders to the point where the authority has decided to give them away, says Steve Abbott, a spokesman for the N.C. Department of Transportation.
“We’re just passing on those savings to the consumer,” Abbott said.
The savings comes to $5 for the Quick Pass, which is good on the Triangle Expressway in western Wake County and on toll roads that accept the Sun Pass and Peach Pass in Florida and Georgia. The turnpike authority will also lower the price for the N.C. Quick Pass E-ZPass from $20 to $7.40 plus tax. The E-ZPass is also good at more than 50 toll roads and bridges in the South, Midwest and Northeast.
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The new prices are permanent, Abbott said.
Both transponders are issued for individual vehicles and attach to the inside of the windshield, where they can be read by overhead sensors. Tolls are automatically deducted from a prepaid account that’s tied to a credit card. Vehicles with transponders pay tolls that are up to 35 percent lower than those without them, which receive a bill in the mail based on the address associated with the license plate.
The Turnpike Authority has sold more than 300,000 transponders since the first leg of the Triangle Expressway opened in December 2011. Those who have already purchased a transponder but have not used it can return it within 10 days of the day they bought it, Abbott said.
For more information about the transponders, go to www.myncquickpass.com/, call the customer service center at 877-769-7277 or visit the N.C. Quick Pass center at 200 Sorrell Grove Church Road, Suite A, Morrisville.