For you, from 4-H: E-ZPasses

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PITTSFIELD >> The 76th Berkshire County 4-H Fair this weekend will feature hall exhibits, animals, entertainment — and E-ZPass transponders.

The fair will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Berkshire County 4-H Fairgrounds on Utility Drive, off Holmes Road. Admission is free.

Activities will include a mechanical bull, entertainment, a chinese auction, pony rides, local crafters, and more.

Also, state Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier and Angelica Paredes of the Berkshire County 4-H Fair Association have collaborated to bring the Massachusetts Department of Transportation's E-ZPass Van to the annual 4-H Youth Fair from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20.

The free transponders will be distributed for the Massachusetts Turnpike.

After an overwhelming response to the E-ZPass van at the downtown Farmers Market on Aug. 6, Farley-Bouvier was contacted by Paredes about bringing the van to the 4-H Fair.

John Naughton from Mass DOT, who was with the van on Aug. 6, noted that 430 transponders were given out and agreed to return with the van so additional people can sign-up.

MassDOT is in the process of transitioning to All Electronic Tolling for I-90, both directions. MassDOT intends to activate AET by the end of the year. A previously scheduled "go live" date in the month of October will occur if software testing goes as planned before September. AET gantries, placed over the road and equipped with sensors, will electronically register tolls from vehicles that pass under any gantry. Drivers will no longer have to stop at a toll plaza.

If a vehicle has an E-ZPass transponder, the toll is automatically charged to the customer's E-ZPass account that the transponder is registered to.

If a vehicle does not have an E-ZPass transponder, cameras mounted on the gantry will capture a photograph of the vehicle's license plate and the registered owner of the vehicle will be sent an invoice.

Pay-by-Plate users will pay a surcharge. E-ZPass users pay the normal toll.

Applicants must bring vehicle registration, $20 credit card or check only (no cash) to open an E-ZPass account, and photo identification to obtain a transponder. The transponders are issued free, but applicants must pay $20 to open an account, which will be used to pay charges for Massachusetts Turnpike travel.


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