Need a toll calculator, plz.
June 18, 2012 7:32 PM   Subscribe

How can I determine tolls along a route from Rhode Island to the Midwest?

This summer I will be driving from Rhode Island out to the midwest. How can I calculate the tolls on the route?

I know that Mass., NY, PA, OH, IN, and IL all charge tolls, but their sites are all so disparate (and reliant on knowledge of local geography!) that I am overwhelmed. There was once upon a time another question like this, but it was quite a few years ago and I am hopeful that something newer exists.

Also, is buying an EZ Pass transponder as much of a no-brainer as I think it is, so I can skip waiting in lines at toll plazas?

Thanks in advance!

Any suggestions of must-sees along the route are always welcome, too.
posted by wenestvedt to Travel & Transportation (11 answers total)
Best answer: Can't help you on the calculator, but of those six states are part of the E-ZPass Group, so one transponder should suffice.
posted by holgate at 7:45 PM on June 18, 2012

ezpass is a no brainer. no waiting in lines to pay tolls, no exact change needed, and, at least in illinois, the tolls are cheaper.
posted by lester's sock puppet at 7:49 PM on June 18, 2012

Years ago the Rand McNally Road Atlas had a table in the back with all of the toll information in it. You may want to see if they still do that.
posted by hwyengr at 8:04 PM on June 18, 2012

Toll Calculator
posted by Iris Gambol at 8:23 PM on June 18, 2012

Best answer: Augh actually that bounces you around quite a bit. Are you a member of AAA? They'll calculate for you.
posted by Iris Gambol at 8:26 PM on June 18, 2012

You can plug in your starting and ending points on Google Maps and select the "avoid tolls" option. Compare this to the route with tolls and you'll see where the tolls are.

I can answer for PA, I believe the only tolls are on I-76.

And absolutely EZpass. Unless you manage to find a toll-free route :)
posted by DoubleLune at 8:40 PM on June 18, 2012

Best answer: Do get EZ pass! Dont't get your EZ-pass the day of travel though. It can take 24-48 hours for the data to travel through all the states databases (including iPass in IN and IL), as I discovered on one particular road trip where I was suddenly scrambling for cash when the transponder worked in IL but not in IN.
posted by rockindata at 10:04 PM on June 18, 2012

I just drove from St. Louis to Boston in May, and I don't think there were any tolls until PA (this was I-70 all th way through the midwest). Depending on where in RI you're starting from, I would think you could avoid the Mass Pike (and therefore the tolls).
posted by DiscourseMarker at 10:07 PM on June 18, 2012

Response by poster: Iris G., thanks for the reminder to ask the AAA staff to do it for me. Between that and not going to the DMV to renew my license, I think the membership already paid for itself this year.

rockindata, I appreciate the reminder to get set up early. And holgate, I had looked into this last year and been pleased to discover how many states work together with the EZ Pass system, but I still appreciate your confirmation.

I think we'll follow I-90 most of the way and switch to I-94 in Wisconsin to get up to the Twin Cities. HERE WE GOOOOOOO!!
posted by wenestvedt at 5:44 AM on June 19, 2012

Well, for what it's worth, I can tell you that if you get on the Mass Pike at 128 it will be $2.70 (to the New York border) and if you get on at 495 it will be $2.10. So that's one state down! I love my EZPass. I had to rent a car for a few weeks while my own car was in the shop and the thing that annoyed me most was not having my EZPass.
posted by mskyle at 6:03 AM on June 19, 2012

NY doesn't honor out of state EZ Pass for some lanes - got dinged headed down to VA. Worth going through the pay lane to make sure you're covered. No issues at all in Jersey.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:45 AM on June 19, 2012

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