Toll booth
Photograph ©2021 by Brian Cohen.

5 Reasons Why All Toll Agencies Should Accept Credit Cards

...or do away with tolls altogether. Both ideas are wishful thinking.

The proceeds from the collection of money from tolls are used to supplement the costs of maintaining highways, bridges, and tunnels. Fewer toll agencies are accepting cash as they abandon that form of payment in favor of electronic tolls. 5 reasons why all toll agencies should accept credit cards are given in this article

5 Reasons Why All Toll Agencies Should Accept Credit Cards

The 5 reasons why all toll agencies around the world should accept credit cards are:

  1. The cost of tolls usually increase and rarely decrease. When the cost of tolls increases, they may no longer be the value of simple spare change. For example, the cost of the toll to use one of four bridges or two tunnels to enter New York from New Jersey is between $13.38 and $17.63 — and yes, the most expensive amount is for motorists who use the Tolls by Mail option.
  2. Credit cards are rather universal worldwide. Many people already hold credit cards, which instantly offers an additional form of payment that is convenient.
  3. No fumbling for exact change. At toll booths which are still manned by human beings, all a driver needs to do is present a credit card. The tool booth operator reaches out with a handheld device on which the motorist can simply tap his or her credit card. With the exception of whether a receipt is requested, the toll is paid; the barrier is raised; and the driver of the vehicle is on his or her way.
  4. Not everyone has transponders for electronic tolls. Transponders are convenient for motorists who pay tolls often — but they are not so convenient for people who rarely pay tolls. Transponders are also inconvenient for people who pay tolls to different agencies — especially when visiting other states or countries — whereas a credit card could potentially be used with any toll system if they accept them. Plus, transponders may be prone to technology glitches, can be compromised by nefarious individuals, and even require a learning curve for some people to understand how to use them to their full advantage. The Tolls by Mail option alerts users of at least one scam called SMiShing.
  5. Motorists who rent vehicles typically pay the most money because of tolls. Rental car companies typically charge a fee for the convenience of being able to pay electronic tolls. Sometimes that fee can be usurious.

Final Boarding Call

Merchants who accept credit cards as a form of payment must themselves pay a fee for the service, which is usually a percentage of the sale. That could be a deterrent to some toll agencies from accepting credit cards…

…plus, an outlay of capital is needed to implement the technology of toll booths and toll plazas to accept credit cards — especially if a highway with only electronic tolls is equipped with only gantries and no actual booths.

Credit cards themselves are not perfect or flawless — but most issuers offer forms of protection for the consumer should their credit cards be compromised.

I personally abhor paying tolls, as they usually represent a form of double taxation — whose proceeds often go to interests other than maintenance of the roads, bridges, and tunnels — but if I must pay them, I want it to be as convenient and as cost-effective as possible. For me, credit cards are the answer…

…and the use of them does count towards accruing credits towards rewards.

Although some toll authorities around the world do accept credit cards, I do wish that all of them would accept credit cards…

…but not as much as I would prefer highways, bridges, and tunnels did not charge tolls in the first place…

Photograph ©2021 by Brian Cohen.

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