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New parkway exit will be E-Z Pass only, or face fine

SAYREVILLE, N.J. — Drivers are talking about a new toll off of the Garden State Parkway that will not accept cash. The new ramp for Exit 125 on the southbound side will accept E-ZPass only when it opens next year.

“That’s unfair it forces you to get E-ZPass,” said Victoria Romanienko, who lives nearby and currently uses the next closest exit on the Parkway to get around.

“I take it when I’m visiting my family, when people visit me and it’s at least three times a week that I’m using that exit.”

When this new, perhaps more convenient exit opens, she won’t be able to use it, unless she gets E-ZPass. Otherwise, that unpaid toll will amount to a $25 fine.

“Some people cannot afford it. Personally, I think it’s excellent,” said Jacob Ziv, an E-ZPass customer. “It’s more convenient, you jump traffic and it’s cheaper.”

A spokesman for the New Jersey Turnpike Authority said that the agency will not be collecting any additional revenue from this new exit ramp. It will be a $1.50 toll, but that toll would otherwise be paid at the next exit if not for this one.

If you do not have E-ZPass, drivers will still have the option to travel to the next toll to exit the parkway.

“That’s even more difficult, especially in this area. We’re so congested,” said Romanienko. "That can cause people difficulties - getting to work late, or getting to an event late. It’s kind of not fair.”

A public hearing on this will likely be held in the spring.