Ohio Turnpike to Accept Credit Card Payments; W.Va. Could Follow Suit

By: The Associated Press, Anna Baxter Email
By: The Associated Press, Anna Baxter Email

CLEVELAND (AP) -- That scramble for cash and loose change as you approach an exit on the Ohio Turnpike may be coming to an end.

The 241-mile turnpike plans to allow drivers to pay by credit and debit cards by year's end.

The turnpike is also implementing E-Z Pass electronic tolling, which allows drivers to cruise through exits as a radio transponder automatically deducts tolls from a driver's account.

The West Virginia Turnpike implemented the E-Z pass back in 2000.

While most states in the Northeast already offer electronic tolling, Ohio will be one of the first in the country to accept credit cards at attended toll booths as well as at machines.

Electronic tolling began in other states in 1993 but the Ohio Turnpike Commission waited to install the $50 million system until the current one needed to be replaced.

Drivers along the West Virginia Turnpike will eventually be able to use their credit and debit cards.

A spokesperson with the Parkways Authority tells WSAZ.com the authority launched a three phase project back in 2000 to upgrade the toll system. One of the goals is to allow drivers to use credit and debit cards.

Phase One was dedicated to studying what equipment the authority has in place.

Right now, the authority is on Phase Two of the project. The authority is trying to come up with a proposal on what equipment it needs to update the system. This could include equipment to allow drivers to pay by credit and debit cards.

Phase 3 would be to install the equipment, but that would not happen until the end of next year.

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