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An Expensive Trip on the Toll Road

I am one of a zillion poor suckers who commute from Maryland to Virginia. On a good day my commute takes forty-five minutes, on a bad day it can take well over two hours. Sometimes the commute doesn’t seem so horrible, other days I scream and curse as I sit in wall to wall traffic with the cars beside me. Of course, in addition to spending tons of time in my car, I also have to spend tons of money driving to and from work. I often use 1/4 of a tank of gas sitting on the beltway waiting for the cars in front of me to move. As if that isn’t bad enough I also spend $2.50 on the Dulles Toll Road: $1.25 each way.

A few months back I bought a used car from my grandmother who had given up driving. As I drove in the ez-pass lane of the Dulles Toll Road it never occurred to me that I had forgotten to transfer my ez-pass transponder from the old car to my new one. I got onto the Dulles Toll Road singing along, trying to keep my sanity on this very long drive to work. But just as I was exiting the Toll Road a very bright, red, you failed to pay, sign flashed before me.

I figured the VA transit authority would send me a bill as a first time offender equal to the price of the toll I failed to pay. WRONG! I was billed $26.25 for failing to pay! I tried to appeal the charge but failed. Adding insult to injury I paid $26.25 to save 15 minutes on a two hour drive.

One Frugal Girl

Friday 11th of May 2007

Oh... I'm a MD girl all the way. Born and raised. I don't know if I could switch to the dark side of VA :-)

Dimes

Wednesday 9th of May 2007

BOO. What are you doing living in Maryland anyway? I guess we know not to try and use the EZ pass lanes for fun!

mapgirl

Monday 7th of May 2007

oy. That's terrible. You should move to VA, the income taxes are much lower than in MD. That will help reduce the toll road bite. I also work out that way and it's a sting.

FWIW, you can get new mounting strips at the SmarTag office in Reston, on the toll road of course!

ps email me b/c we are thinking of another DC area PF blog meetup.