Last-minute rush for E-ZPass transponders

WAVY/Jason Marks

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — It really is the last minute for toll-free driving from Portsmouth to Norfolk — tolls on the Downtown and Midtown tunnels go into effect Saturday. It’s also the last minute for drivers to get their E-ZPasses.

The Virginia Department of Transportation says you will pay less for tolls if you have an E-ZPass, and that message seemed to be coming in loud and clear to a long line of people waiting to get their transponders at the Victory Crossings service center Friday. The line was so long, some left before even joining the line.

“There were about 100 people in here about 30 minutes ago,” Marcus Saunders added, “It was crazy at first.”

“I could barely get in the door,” said Vernon Branch. “Yeah, I’m one of the last-minute ones, but before I put up with that, I’d rather go online.”e-z pass service center rush

Others went in with determination, but walked out empty handed. Still, many decided to wait it out.

“A couple of people were telling me, ‘man, you’re wasting your time. It could take two hours to get out of here.’ But for some reason the line got real short all of a sudden,” said McKinley Phillips.

Most people talked to said even though the lines were long they moved quickly. The bulk of people said they spent less than an hour, many just 30 minutes or less, to get their transponders.

“I know it starts tomorrow, but I didn’t think I had to activate this thing today,” said Portsmouth’s Cheryl Linsey.

VDOT and ERC have extended hours at several E-ZPass customer service centers this week until midnight to service as many people as possible.

There were some concerns, though, about the amount of personal information that you’re placing on those forms. We wanted to know how they’d be kept safe. Click here for VDOT’s Privacy Statement.

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