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Keller @ Large: $1.3 Million For ‘Fast Lane’ Name Change? Really?

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WBZ-TV's Jon Keller Jon Keller
Jon Keller is WBZ-TV News' Political Analyst, and his "Keller A...
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BOSTON (CBS) – The end of “Fast Lane” is coming soon to a toll plaza near you, but is the change worth the price?

The state is switching to E-ZPass, in part because out-of-state drivers were getting confused.
ore than a million dollars just to change the name of the fast lane?

The change will cost $1,385,000, with most of that coming from a federal grant, or your tax dollars.

Even though many states with E-ZPass have been accepting “Fast Lane” users for years, and vice versa, the state’s transportation czar says the change needs to be made (and all that money needs to be spent) to avoid mass confusion at the toll plazas.

“The signs are about 15 years old so we have to change them out, and in addition, they haven’t been in compliance with federal traffic standards,” said Richard Davey, the state’s transportation secretary.

Davey acknowledges the cost may seem steep, though he added “you can’t put a price tag on safety.”

“Fast Lane” users who spoke to WBZ-TV Monday at the Natick rest stop were unimpressed by Davey’s arguments.

Despite that…

“We’ve seen from some customer complaints that it’s confusing, ‘am I an E-ZPass, am I a Fast Lane, what am I? Well, you’re both,’” said Davey.

So, in order to accommodate a handful of people who don’t know what’s going on and can’t be bothered to read clearly-labelled signs explaining what’s going on, the taxpayers will soon be out more than $1.3 million.

The changeover will be rolling out during the summer — yet another reason to crank up the A/C in your car to help keep your cool.

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