UPDATE: Part of Pocahontas Parkway to go cashless

By Melissa Correa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) – Plans to make a ramp off the Pocahontas Parkway non-cash won't begin Tuesday after all.

Officials say they're not ready for the change, which would have required an EZ Pass or credit card for the Laburnum Avenue exit. They say the change will still happen, later this week or the first of next week. In the meantime, look for new signs in the area warning motorists about the delay.

Judy Irby from South Carolina has a huge purse, but inside not one coin for the toll along Pocahontas Parkway.

"I've got this big pocketbook and I'm asking my husband how much is it," said Judy Irby. "We are from out-of-town. We really didn't know - $2.95 or $1.95. He said find the money. I'm fumbling. People are behind me that want to get by."

Coins will be rejected at the Laburnum pay stations. You must have a Visa or MasterCard or an EZ Pass to pay the $1 fee.

The $1 cashless toll will only apply to drivers who use the parkway between Laburnum and 295. The technology will be similar to an ATM. You will swipe your card, press some buttons and wait for approval.

Melissa Correa: "Is it going to take a little bit more time as far as stopping and doing all of that?"
Mary Eillin Arch with Pocahontas 895: "We think it's going to be very, very similar to the time that you currently spend getting your cash, tossing it in, and waiting for the light to change."

The toll company states this is part of a systems update. The new airport connector will also have a cashless toll when it opens in the spring. The only location to still take cash will be the main toll plaza, but it even takes credit cards.

"This is a great time to make the switch to EZ Pass. EZ Pass is the most convenient way. It's the fastest way."

Sumil Reddy would relish the chance to swipe his card if he didn't already have an EZ Pass.

"One thing is we don't have to stop and the second thing is you don't always have to carry the cash with you," said Sumil Reddy.

For more information about the toll changes:
804-822-3458 or 1-866-428-6339

For more information about EZ Pass:
1-877-Smartag (1-877-762-7824)

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