E-ZPass crush extends deadline
Published 10:25 pm Friday, January 3, 2014
Increased demand for E-ZPass transponders in Hampton Roads on Friday, corresponding with a deadline to sign up and receive five free trips through the Midtown and Downtown tunnels, caused officials to increase capacity on the website, open customer service centers on weekends and extend the deadline for the promotion.
The promotion would have expired at midnight Friday, but a rush of customers caused delays on the site and in customer service centers, the Virginia Department of Transportation said.
The agency increased capacity on the site and said it was functioning properly by Friday evening.
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It also announced the E-ZPass customer service centers in Norfolk and Portsmouth will be open weekends beginning today to accommodate the increased demand.
The center in Portsmouth, 4010 Victory Blvd., will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week. In Norfolk, the center at 1701 Church St. will be open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Customer service representatives also will begin staffing the toll-free E-ZPass customer service line on weekends starting today. Call 1-877-762-7824.
Elizabeth River Crossings also said it would extend the deadline for the five free trips promotion until Jan. 13. Folks who acquire a new Virginia E-ZPass transponder on a new or existing account will get five free trips to use at the tunnels by June 30.
Tolling begins at the tunnels on Feb. 1. For regular vehicles, the tolls start at $1.59 during off-peak hours and $1.84 during peak hours. Users of the MLK Extension will be charged $1, or 50 cents if one of the tunnels is used on the same trip.
Peak hours are 5:30 to 9 a.m. and 2:30 to 7 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays. All other times, including state holidays, are considered off peak.
Those without E-ZPass will receive a bill in the mail to the address where the license plate is registered, and the processing fees for that option are so steep that even people who only use the tunnels once or twice a year will save money with E-ZPass.
VDOT charges 50 cents a month for the use of E-ZPass.
Visit www.EZPassVA.com to obtain your transponder or for more information.