Garden State Parkway baskets have not gone away completely
EAST BRUNSWICK — To coin a phrase, reports of the complete demise of toll baskets on the Garden State Parkway have been exaggerated.
Crews started working in late September at the farthest ends of the Parkway at the Cape May and Pascack Valley toll plazas to remove the toll baskets from the main line Parkway and worked their way towards the middle. The Asbury Park toll plaza was the last to lose the baskets on Monday,
"Thirty-seven baskets have been removed but 52 remain (on the exit and entrance ramps), and are not going anywhere," Turnpike Authority Spokesman Thomas Feeney told New Jersey 101.5.
The full service red signed toll lanes remain on the Parkway for those paying tolls with cash.
Feeney said that 83 percent of the 240.3 transactions on the Parkway in 2017 were paid with EZ-Pass, 12 percent with cash and just under 5 percent in the cash lanes.
The baskets will be used as parts to keep the remaining ones working. But at some point the Turnpike Authority will have to decide the future of the baskets on the ramps, many of which are not staffed 24 hours a day.
"It either switches to all electronic tolling or there will be new coin machines going in, which could be expensive." Feeney said.
Feeney said that the toll basket machinery are removed and completely pulled apart for maintenance purposes. They are then rotated around the various toll plazas when put back into service.