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How Does an E-ZPass Work?
Those who commute to work or take road trips regularly, especially over long distances, may have come across toll plazas where you pay to cross over into another region. Lines for cars to pass through tolls can get incredibly long, making for frustrating commutes — especially if you’re in a rush. Thankfully, the early 1990s saw the dawn of E-ZPass, which allowed drivers to eliminate the need to stop at tolls across 17 states in the Midwestern and Eastern United States. So, what is E-ZPass — and how, exactly, does it work?
What Is an E-ZPass?
E-ZPass is an electronic toll collection (ETC) system that allows commuters and travelers to prepay with cash or a credit card so that they may easily bypass toll roads, bridges and tunnels throughout certain states in the Midwest and on the East Coast of the United States. E-ZPass is currently accepted in the following states: Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Once enrolled in the system, passholders are able to drive straight through a toll station without stopping thanks to the E-ZPass-specific lanes. Through their state’s E‑ZPass program, drivers can choose from a variety of monthly prepaid plans depending upon which one suits their driving habits best. Additionally, businesses can purchase an aptly-named business account with E-ZPass for five or more employees. Best of all, some states’ tolls are actually discounted if drivers pay via the E-ZPass system.
Not sure if E-ZPass is worth it? Although other ETC systems in non-E-ZPass states use similar technology, the ever-expanding E-ZPass has rebranded quite a few of these other ETC systems and toll lanes, making it a great long-term investment.
With E-ZPass, drivers receive a toll transponder — a small device that can be easily attached to a vehicle’s windshield, thus allowing the toll lane to recognize the car as an E-ZPass holder. As the vehicle passes through the specified lane for the program, an overhead antenna searches for and reads the toll transponder. The driver’s E-ZPass account is then charged the proper toll amount.
Think you can cheat the system? Not likely. If a vehicle doesn’t have a transponder, the E-ZPass system picks up on that. Video cameras attached to the toll plaza will also take pictures of your vehicle and license plate, which means that bill will find you eventually.
How Can You Purchase an E-ZPass?
You can see if your state offers E-ZPass by visiting the E-ZPass Group’s official website . The company has a full list of states where the program is offered as well as links to the individual state programs. To participate, you’ll have to either fill out an application online, by mail or via fax. Each application requires contact and vehicle information as well as the specific monthly plan and number of transponders you need from E-ZPass. The transponders are free, but customers must keep their accounts stocked with funds so that the tolls are paid automatically.
In order to replenish their account funds, customers can use the auto-replenish feature, which means E-ZPass will automatically charge the credit card on file whenever the account balance is low. Additionally, customers may replenish their accounts with cash, check, or money order by visiting an E-ZPass Service Center in person. Better yet, the brand now offers an “On the Go” package, which provides customers with a transponder and prepaid toll balance of $25, making it a great option for folks who need immediate access to an E-ZPass. Just be sure to register the transponder within seven days of its first use.
How to Use Your E-ZPass Account
Once users have registered online and received their transponder, they are able to create an E-ZPass account online to track their toll use. From these accounts, users are also able to see their account balance and modify their plan and payment method.
Not a fan of going completely digital? Users can also get their account balance through an itemized statement in the mail on either a monthly or quarterly basis — or, if snail mail is too slow, they can call up E-ZPass’s automated telephone system. If you’re constantly on the go and unable to check your account manually, a toll fare display near the E‑ZPass lane will display messages as you drive by, including “low balance” warnings.
The Benefits of an E-ZPass
Simply put, E-ZPass is a more convenient way to travel through toll stations. Drivers don’t have to worry about sitting in long lines or having cash on hand. Since passholders just drive on through the toll plazas, the E-ZPass system is also helpful in reducing traffic congestion, which, in turn, helps reduce auto emissions, especially in populous areas like New Jersey and New York.
Ultimately, this electronic toll collection system is a huge timesaver for those who find themselves at toll booths on a regular basis. And, depending upon where you live, purchasing an E-ZPass can be a great long-term investment.
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How to Find Truck Stops Near You
Truck stops are a traveler’s home away from home, with conveniences and amenities like big parking lots, showers, restaurants, gaming centers and laundry services. More than 60 years ago, truck stops started providing diesel gas for large delivery trucks and replacing filling stations for long-distance drivers.
The National Association of Truck Stop Operators (NATSO) began 50 years ago in order to represent truck stop and travel plaza owners. Today, the organization represents more than 1,500 truck stops, which is helpful for big-rig drivers who make a living on the highway, as well as RV families heading out on the open road for recreation. When you’re planning a trip, research the truck stop locators of online websites to learn what you’ll pass along your way. Billboards and road signs also advertise most truck stops located along major routes. Or use the GPS system in your truck while driving to search for the nearest truck stop.
Truck Stop Chains
Truck stops vary from small roadside fuel islands to big plazas offering several amenities. Several truck stop chains, such as Pilot Travel Centers, Roady’s, Flying J, Loves, Travel America and Petro, have expanded their services to include restaurants and more in nearly every state. These plazas also offer overnight parking for RVs, big rigs and cars across the United States. You can find overnight parking at Flying J truck stop locations, for example, by using the Allstays Camp & RV app. The map will show all of the truck stops nearby, and the notes section includes details such as the number of parking spaces and whether a truck wash, chapel, shower facilities, restaurants and CAT scale are available. It’s also a good idea to call the truck stop first to check if you are allowed to park overnight.
Pilot Location Amenities
Some Pilot truck stop locations offer paid Wi-Fi, unlimited shower use (with all-purpose shampoo and body wash, and extras like a wash cloth, towel and bath mat), a truck wash, natural gas a chapel, a 24-hour restaurant, a CAT scale, a game room and more.
America’s Independent Trucker Association
Larry Daniel started America’s Independent Trucker Association in 1977 with the goal of leveling the field for smaller trucking businesses. This organization’s website has a list of links by state to find truck stops along your route.
Truck Stop Restaurants
Some unassuming truck stops feature homey, comfort-food diners. The Iron Skillet chain, with six locations in Indiana, serves no-frills breakfasts like steak and eggs, pork chops, skillets, omelets and hotcakes. Cheap eats for dinner include burgers, pasta, chicken tenders, patty melts and chicken-fried steak, and desserts like apple pie, chocolate cake and ice cream. They are open every day, and travelers can find this casual eatery in Gary, Brazil, Greensburg, Gaston, Fremont and Remington.
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Le Roy Travel Plaza
805 S Hemlock St, Le Roy, IL 61752 (309) 962-8466
Leroy Travel Plaza
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Arline S. said "Yeah, yeah, yeah. Truck drivers hate to burn their clocks sitting around, waiting 3 hours to get their rig into the shop. Seriously, though. If the shop is busy, because they provide custom, high quality service, it is worth it!…" read more
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On Track Trucking Inc provides fast and reliable towing service throughout central Illinois. We handle small passenger cars, commercial trucks, and everything between. We offer jump starts, tire changes, winch outs, flat bed… read more
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13.7 miles away from Leroy Travel Plaza
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805 S Hemlock St
Le Roy, IL 61752
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The cashier was just sitting on his phone whenever I walked in and he had a very aggressive/rude behavior towards me for asking him to help me with a pump issue. On top of this, their unleaded fuel was 0.15$ more than the gas stations across the interstate.
14.8 miles away from Leroy Travel Plaza
Only Belle Tire Makes the Lowest Tire Price Feel Even Lower. No one gives you more for your money. All tire purchases come with a lifetime of free perks including free mounting, rotations, balancing, alignment checks, flat repairs… read more
in Auto Glass Services, Auto Repair, Tires
Joseph R. said "Mike at ewheels is really helpful an great customer service always. Update u on what going on I Here in Hawaii it's a long way to get some nice wheels from his shop but when I got it I was. Very pleased all was individually wrapped…" read more
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LEROY TRUCK PLAZA
24 Hour Diesel, ATM, Business Checks, Convenience Store, DAT Check Cashing, Deli, Document Scanning, Fast Food, Game Room, Parking,Lighted Area, Paved Lot, Pet Area, Public Fax / Copier, Receive Prepaid Permits, Restaurant, RV Gasoline, RV Parking, Showers, Trailer Drop, Truckers Lounge
Payment Methods Accepted
American Express, Com Check, Comdata, Company Check OAC, Debit Cards, Discover, EFS/ FLEET ONE, Fuelman, MasterCard, Multi Service, Personal Check, T-Check, TCH, Trans Check, Visa, Voyager / Wright Express
Additional Services at this Exit
MOTEL, GROCERY, LAUNDRY, RELIGIOUS SERVICES, TIRE, MECHANIC, TOWING
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Ontario Travel Plaza-NYS Thruway
- I-90 West bound, between Exits 46 & 47
- Le Roy, NY 14482
- (631) 467-8599
Travel Plaza rest area located along the NYS Thruway. A Taste NY Store – We feature a rotating selection of the highest quality foods and beverages that represent the diversity and creativity from across the state. So whether you’re leaving the Great Empire State or coming home, we invite you to Taste NY.
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Road Guides > Illinois Truck Stops
LeRoy Truck Plaza
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Places inside Ontario Travel Plaza
Fast Food · $
8700 Vallance Rd (at Ontario Travel Plaza)
NYS Thruway I-90 WB (MM 376) (at Ontario Service Center)
"Watch for the SQUEEGEE NAZI!! Must pull up and do NOT try to take a squeegee to your car! *eyeroll*"
Original Pizza of Boston
Pizza · $
NYS Thruway I-90 WB (MM 376) (at Ontario Travel Plaza)
"the pizza is delicious when fresh. buy a whole pizza its worth the 10 min wait and its cheaper than slices."
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4371 Buffalo Rd (Union St)
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