Goodbye, FastLane. Hello, E-ZPass.
After 14 years, Massachusetts is retiring the FastLane brand and will join the other 13 states in the Northeast’s E-ZPass consortium in sharing the E-ZPass name.
Starting next week, the state will replace all FastLane signs on the Massachusetts Turnpike and Tobin Bridge with E-ZPass signage, a project expected to last through the summer, with the work conducted at night.
The change will not affect the 1.7 million FastLane-branded transponders held by 1.1 million account holders, state Department of Transportation spokeswoman Sara Lavoie said. But it could improve flow at toll plazas, where out-of-state motorists can be confused by the signage while trying to verify that their E-ZPass transponders are indeed accepted.
“Driver hesitation and confusion can jeopardize safety at all our toll plazas,” Secretary of Transportation Richard A. Davey said in a statement.
The move was partly motivated by the federal government, which had indicated that the FastLane signs – promoting sponsor Citizens Bank – violated the toll plaza advertising ban in the Federal Highway Administration’s Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.
The state’s agreement with Citizens expired last fall. The federal government is covering most of the $1.2 million in sign-replacement costs.