Just as a story is appearing on our station's website about an appellate court forcing the NJ Turnpike Authority to justify it's $50 "fee" for unpaid tolls, I am due to be receiving one of those soon.

I was getting off the Turnpike on my way to Metropark train station on Saturday, or really I should say I was attempting to get off the Turnpike. I was in the cash lane because I never became an E-ZPass customer. The reason? I don't travel the toll roads nearly often enough to make it worth it the service fee. So there we sat, my daughter and I. We were on our way to see her first ever Broadway show, which is a debacle in and of itself which you can read about here. The long line suddenly stopped moving. We waited, and waited, and waited.

The cash line was still green lighted and didn't appear to be having one of those changes of staff. Nothing moved for over five minutes. I can only assume a car broke down in the worst spot possible. As five minutes grew to be seven I finally decided missing the train was not worth it and I got out of that lane and headed for the E-ZPass lane. Now there was another cash lane that I would have had to fight through lanes of traffic to get to and once there it would have been a matter of cutting in front of someone. I didn't want to do that. I made a conscious decision that their stupid $50 fee was worth it to not screw up our night. Ironic now, which if you clicked that other link to the other story you know why.

Not being an E-ZPass customer I'm certain this won't be a matter of contacted the holy authority and working our arrangements to pay only the toll. Also, since they'll have no idea where I got on (287) they will charge me not only the $50 "fee" but also the full price of the Turnpike from the farthest entry point to where they got me on camera. It should have been only .90 cents. Hey, as long as we made it in time to see that show, right? Yeahhhhh, maybe you should now click on that link if you haven't.

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