Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sick Math - the Toll Edition

(Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel.  Carrie's picture...used by permission...hopefully)

I didn't keep close track of my finances for the big Charleston trip, but figured in this day and age, statements would be available if I wanted to review things. That's the beauty of relying on electronics (debit card and EZ Pass).

I still don't understand those in the New York area who haven't gotten an EZ Pass. I love mine and they offer some discounts. Just saying.

Anyway, I got my EZ Pass statement today and tallied the numbers. Let's break it down...

Garden State Parkway (Pascack Valley): $ 1.25
Garden State Parkway (Essex): $ 1.25
New Jersey Turnpike (Exits 11-2): $ 6.10
Commodore Barry Bridge (NJ-PA): $ 5.00
Baltimore Harbor Tunnel: $ 3.00
TOTAL: $16.60

That's it for the southbound trip. I could have cut some of the money out by jumping on I-295 instead of using the New Jersey Turnpike (and yes, there are other ways to dodge tolls in the Garden State) but I didn't. I did skip the Delaware Turnpike's $4.00 robbery (also known as "shunpiking").

I expected the trip home to be more expensive, notably for two reasons: 1) because we planned to drive across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel (CBBT) and 2) tolls are charged going eastbound across the Hudson River, and the only way to avoid paying a toll was to head up to Albany. That hardly seems worth it.

Because of traveling up the Delmarva Peninsula and using the CBBT, we avoided Baltimore and the tunnels (or the bridges that we also could have used). We also missed out on the Mildred E. Tydings Memorial Bridge (the John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway) toll of $5.00.

On the other hand, we more than made up for it! Not including the $38.00 to ride the Cape May-Lewes Ferry (hey, I'm a sucker for a sunset with Carrie, OK?), the northbound ledger looks like this:

Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel: $12.00
Garden State Parkway (Cape May): $ 1.50
Garden State Parkway (New Gretna): $ 1.50
Garden State Parkway (Toms River): $ .75
Garden State Parkway ( Park): $ 1.50
Outerbridge Crossing $ 9.50
TOTAL: $26.75

Total Trip: $43.35

Of course this is all apropos of nothing, but there was one thing that jumped out at me. Again, it's meaningless, but we paid $12 to cross the beautiful 17 mile structure seen at the top of this post (the CBBT). We paid 9.50 to cross the Outerbridge (which is also $12 if you're paying cash!). I get it: the Port Authority rips people off (even with the EZ Pass discount) and I also get that it's apples and oranges. But...still.

Anyway, that occupied my brain for a few minutes. Thanks.

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