New changes to the toll system in Massachusetts have drivers rushing to service centers to get E-ZPass transponders.
Manual tolling is now a thing of the past. Starting at 10 p.m. Friday, the tolling system is electronic.
"I got a new transponder for a car that didn't have one,” said Gerard Palace.
He said the process was fast, and Linda MaGuire agreed.
“It took 10 minutes max,” said MaGuire.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation has extended service center hours through “Go-Live” weekend. If you plan on heading out to service centers, be prepared to fill out a form and have your license plate number handy.
Drivers who got to centers early Friday morning said they didn't wait long, while others who arrived during the afternoon rush did.
"These folks in here were great today they found me on their system in about three seconds and I got in and out of here,” MaGuire said.
But that wasn’t the story for everyone looking to get a transponder or re-activate an old one.
“I’ve been waiting in line for probably about 10 minutes,” said Anthony Tagliaferro.
That may not seem too bad, but Tagliaferro still wasn't inside yet. He thinks MassDOT could do better.
"No one is out here,” Tagliaferro said. “They’re not letting us know, 'If you have an E-ZPass that hasn't been activated or has been deactivated, please stand in this line' or 'If you're looking to get a brand-new E-ZPass, stand in this line.' There's nobody here giving any information to anybody."
He also said he couldn't get a form for a new E-ZPass until he gets to the front of the line.
"I think it could have been planned much better,” said Tagliaferro.
The E-ZPass customer service website and hotline is out of commission this weekend. They shut down at 6:45 p.m. Friday so MassDOT can transition to the new system.
"The grids across the top of the highway and no more tollbooth, congratulations to Massachusetts. Thank God,” said MaGuire.
If you don't get a transponder in the next few days, MassDOT is giving you a six month “grace period.” During this time, you'll be sent a pay-by-plate invoice. You either pay it or switch your account to E-ZPass and get a transponder.
"I don't like it,” George Pappas said
If you plan on getting a transponder, be prepared to pay with a credit card or check. The transponder is free, but you’ll still need $20 to establish a new account.
“Ultimately it's a good thing, I think,” said Palace.