Toll Collectors: A Dying Industry Or A Necessity? - My9 New Jersey

Toll Collectors: A Dying Industry Or A Necessity?

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Trenton, New Jersey (My9NJ) - Eric Wallace is one of the many toll collectors whose life could drastically change if the state ends up privatizing the industry. He recently attended the New Jersey Turnpike commissioner’s public meeting because he hopes that by speaking out they will actually listen and not take away his livelihood.

“I don’t know if it’s gonna make any difference but I want to at least physically be here to state my case,” he explained.

Wallace started working part-time as a collector about 10 years ago at the age of 50. He fears that if the commissioners move forward with their plan to privatize his job then he will become unemployed.

Back in 2011, there was a major toll hike and instead of Wallace’s salary increasing, he says his pay ended up getting cut.

“It got reduced from $18 an hour to $16 an hour and then in 2012, it went down another $2 so I’m down to $14 an hour,” Wallace said.

Now, Wallace says he is forced to work overtime to try and make up for the lost wages.  He complains that he’s spending less time with his family

Wallace is in an industry that some see as going extinct, especially with the use of E-ZPass transponders that automatically collect tolls. But Wallace said that there are many things that toll collectors provide that E-ZPass doesn’t.

He gave some examples:

1) E-ZPass is only convenient if you travel often. If not, he claims it gets costly. (There is a $1 a month charge for accounts.)

2) He says that E-ZPass can’t give you directions if you get lost.

3) Wallace says that toll collectors can be a friendly face to a commuter.  He claims they can lift up your spirits on an otherwise boring drive.

Do you think toll collectors are a dying industry or a necessity?


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