Our group, three, became experts on the technological advancement of the EZ
Pass electronic tolling system. Our group was made up of Peter Rio, Zach Moyer,
Christian Bachert and Caitlin Phillips. The theme of our video was to highlight the ease
of the EZ-Pass system and completely explain its roots and how it works. Here’s a
In today’s world, automobiles provide the ideal way for most Americans to travel.
They are easy, reliable, relatively save and a great way to get from point A to B. One out
of every two Americans owns an automobile. In the country, an astounding 1.9 millions
automobiles are driven daily. Only eight percent of households do not own a car. With
these numbers growing every day, the need for major highways and road systems was a
given. In Pennsylvania, the PA Turnpike is the largest system that runs clear across the
state. This road will take an individual from Philadelphia to Pittsburg in a mere five
As you would expect, a road system this large would be using the very best of
today’s technology to make its travelers journey as easy and trouble free as possible. Call
boxes are placed every mile in case of emergencies. The latest in road care techniques
are used to make as much of a smooth ride as possible. The toll experience has also
taken a high tech turn.
The idea of electronic tolling has been around since the
1980s. It started out in the New York Metropolitan area. New
York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania sought out to create a
compatible electronic toll collecting system. These three
combined bring in 2/3 of the countries 3 billion dollars a year
toll revenue. In 1991, they created the -Z Pass Interagency
Group to develop a state of the art system.
On August 3, 1993 the first EZ Pass toll collect station
was up and running in New York. It was developed on the New
York State Thruway at the Spring Valley Toll Plaza. Over the
next four years, it was spread along the Thruway in stages. By
February 6, 1997 the system has been installed along the entire
roadway. At left is a photo from the Spring Valley Toll Plaza
in New York.
Since then, systems all over the country have been put into place. As of today,
Pennsylvania is a leader in EZ Pass innovations. There are EZ Pass Lanes at most every
exit along the PA Turnpike.
At first, each states system was completely
isolated from other states. Today, they have been
able to make them all compatible so they can
essentially “work together.” For example, a PA
motorist can use their PA EZ Pass tag to pay tolls
on the New Jersey Turnpike. This makes a
motorists life a lot easier.
This technological advancement plays a
huge part in the lives of millions of motorists each
day. They now have the convenience on not
carrying cash to pay tolls when they travel. This electronic system eliminates the need to
carry a ticket or even stop at a toll booth.
As a group, our teamwork was kind of a struggle. Our system that was originally
made kind of went to the dumps. Peter and Zach shot the movie as well as totally
produced and planned it. They also edited it and spent lots of time getting it right. They
also completely wrote the report. Cait and Christian researched the topics they were
given, but not much more. The drive to work as a team was kind of lost upon certain
actions. Peter and Zach played the roles as leaders, trying to give out jobs to the others.
While completing this project, we utilized many of today’s technology. A digital
camera was used to shoot the video clips. Then these were
imported onto a laptop with video editing software installed
on it. The built in microphone was used to produce sound
clips to play in the background. The World Wide Web was
then used to find pictures and diagrams. This project heavily
revolved around the computer. It was used in every aspect of
the project, from research and development to video
used as a main
form of communication between team
members. We picked these technologies
due to the fact that they are very easy to use
and we are very familiar with them. The
only one we learned more about was the
video editing software. Zach and Peter now
feel comfortable producing movies from
Our group made its own problems.
We didn’t really struggle at any aspects of the actual project elements; all went relatively
easy for us. We were able to find lots of information about EZ-Pass, derive our plan of
attack, and produce a well developed video. The problems we had came in team
cooperation. We weren’t able to work together and get one hundred percent out of every
member. This really put a lot of pressure on some members to make up for others. We
had trouble communicating with some if it wasn’t on a weekday. When it was crunch
time, it seemed as though some didn’t have time. We were able to overcome these
problems by sitting back and analyzing our problem. We thought, what must be done to
make up for these slackers? In the end we were able to disperse the work and come out
with a finished product that at least
two of us were really truly proud of.
This project required the use of many
outside resources and references.
The website “How It Works” really
helped us out in understanding the
technological end to EZ-Pass. The
PA EZ-Pass website was also a big
help. It gives the roots of the system
and provides lots of great links. We also used the Google search engine to find our
images and some of our history. Another resource we used was a DVD all about RFIDS.
This was really educational to watch and visually showed us how this technology works.
Outside people were also interviewed to see how the average person liked or disliked the
system. This is where we got a lot of our advantages or disadvantages. In the end, this
wide combination of references and resources helped us produce a great finished product.
Opening: EZ-Pass title
Group member names
Peter (Outside): Ever heard of ezpass this is it. It is a wireless device that enables drivers
to go though toll plazas without any cash. Pretty cool huh?
TRANSITION (History of Ez-pass)
Christian(speaking): Ez-pass started in 1993 in New York State in the spring valley toll
plaza. Now many states have adopted electric tolling and are compatible with each other.
1.9 million Vehicles are driven in the U.S. everyday, Ez-pass helps save time and hassle
for drivers. Ez-pass allows drivers to go though toll plazas without stopping for getting a
ticket or giving money. Ez-Pass is the leader in Ez-Pass having lanes on almost every exit
of the turnpike.
Picture (Spring Valley toll plaza)
Narriation(Peter): Pictured here is the spring valley toll plaza, the idea of electric tolling
has been around since the 1980s. It started out in the New York metropolitan area. New
York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania sought out to create a compatible toll collecting
system. These three states combined bring in three billion dollars year toll revenue. In
1991 they created the Z pass agency group to create a state of the art system. On August
third 1993 the first Ez-Pass toll collecting station was up and running here on the New
York State Thruway. Over the next four years it was spread though the Thruway in stages
by February 5 1997 the system had been spread on the whole roadway. Since then
systems all over the country have been put into place
TRNSITION (How Ez-Pass works)
Zack (holding Ez-pass tag out side): You want to know how Ez-pass works. There are
four basic parts of the Ez-pass System. First being the transponder, this is the part that
mounts in your car. The second part is the antenna, this is the part that is mounted over
the Ez-pass lane and activates the transponder. The third part is the lane controller. This
keeps track of the cars that go though the lanes. The fourth part is the host controller; this
keeps track of the peoples account information.
Narration (Zack):Ez-pass relies on a state of the art system called RFID. RFID stands
for radio frequency identification. The system is typically used to track packages, last
month Wal-Mart acquired this system. There are two types of RFID tags. Ez-Pass uses
the inductive coupled tags. There are three basic parts of RFID tags, first being the silicon
microprocessor. Second the metal coil. The coil is the tags antenna; the length of the
antenna determines how far the tag can transmit. Third is the encapsulation material, this
is the part of the tag that you see. Because of the microprocessor inductive tags can cost
from 1 dollar to 200 dollars. Ez-Pass tags are on the lower end of this scale so the average
person can afford them.
Transition (Ez-Pass Payment)
Peter (In front of computer): Yes the Ez-Pass system eliminates the need for cash but
this does not mean the Turnpike is free. Every time you go though the toll the host
control sends a fee to your individual account. At the end of the month a statement is sent
or you can view it online.
Transition (Example of Ez-pass use)
Clip of Caitlain driving though Ez-Pass lane
Transition (advantages and disadvantages)
Caitlain (speaking): Some advantages of Ez-Pass are it saves you money toll plazas can
process 200 to 300 more vehicles helps reduce congestion and helps fuel consumption.
Video clip of Ez-Pass Toll collection and the song “Speed” by Montgomery Gentry.
Caitlain: Some disadvantages of Ez-Pass are fewer jobs for toll collectors, accidents and
if you go though the toll to slow you get a ticket.
Transition (The Ez-Pass System)
Peter: Currently the states have come together as a system they all except the same
system and allow drivers to go state to state. It makes it easier for drivers in situations
such as bridges where to toll can be more than a few dollars so you don’t have to carry a
large sum of cash. Hopefully all the states in the country will come together as one
system to make it easier.
Transition (Who uses Ez-Pass)
Christian (Speaking): Ez-Pass by many businesses travelers’ truckers alike. With Ez-
Pass an account can be kept on line and there no need for travelers to carry money.
Transition (The Future)
Peter: What’s next for Ez-Pass, hopefully the whole U.S. will be able to Ez-Pass on the
same system. You could drive across the whole country with out paying a single toll.
Who know maybe it will be easy enough for a dog to use it.