The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority (RITBA) today is issuing a reminder that as of Sunday, March 14, the 24-hour all-electronic tolling (AET) pilot program on the Newport Pell Bridge will come to an end.

The eastbound traffic pattern approaching the toll plaza will return to its original configuration.

RITBA says that it will revert to normal toll collections of cash and credit card payments from 7 am to 11 pm and bill by mail from 11 pm. to 7 am in the gated lanes at the toll plaza. From 11 pm to 7 am, the bill by mail feature will remain in place. The tolls for bill by mail will be collected utilizing the existing open road tolling (ORT) technology. This technology reads E-ZPass transponders for tolling. If a vehicle does not have a transponder, a bill will be mailed to the address of the registered owner of the vehicle. The billed toll amount will be the same as if the vehicle was paying at the toll booth with cash or credit card. However, if the invoice is not paid on time, fees will be applied.

For four weeks, RITBA tested 24-hour all-electronic tolling feasibility and directed all traffic heading eastbound through lanes that accommodate E-ZPass and bill by mail transactions. During this time, motorists heading eastbound could not pay tolls by cash or credit card.

Once the pilot program is complete, RITBA will begin assessing and analyzing the data collected. The results from the analysis will help guide RITBA’s decisions concerning future methods of toll collection on the Newport Pell Bridge.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What's Up Newp. He was born and raised in Rhode Island and graduated from Coventry High School. He serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors for Potter League for Animals. Ryan also is currently the Senior Editor - North America for Mountain News, publisher of OnTheSnow. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).