171102 Dear Governors Andrew Cuomo (NY) and Chris Christie (NJ)

Ohio Governor TurnpikeDear Governors Andrew Cuomo and Chris Christie,

Drivers from New York and New Jersey pay four billion dollars a year in tunnel, bridge and highway tolls.  That costs our states about $100,000,000 in credit card processing fees when EZ PASS replenishes consumer’s accounts.  Stop our money from being wasted.

New York and New Jersey should create design specifications for a Bitcoin payment system throughout the two-state network of highways.  That should consist of converting EZ PASS to use Bitcoin on the backend, replenished by consumer Bitcoin wallets setup to work automatically as credit card payments do now. Along with that create the specifications for iOS and Android apps that would let consumers monitor their Bitcoin wallet payments.  Those could be distributed freely.  Then, whatever amount is appropriate, say $10,000,000 for argument sake, would be awarded to the technology or finance company that submitted the winning proposal for them to do the work. If no hardware change was necessary, if the current EZ PASS system works with a Bitcoin backend, the entire project might not cost very much at all.

Consumers would take care of the rest.  The costs to pay the $1.50 to $15.00 tolls via Bitcoin would be next to nothing; there are no fees for Bitcoin transactions.  As old EZ PASS’s are swapped out for the new ones, consumer accounts would be tied to Bitcoin exchanges instead of banks.

There should be an early 15% conversion rate amongst consumers, more if they were given even a nominal discount for using Bitcoin.  Besides, it would just be cool.  The minimal credit card charge per transaction at present is $0.35 plus a percentage of the cost of the transaction.  Eliminating that fee from the toll would be incentive enough.  Stop the wasteful payments.

 

171102 EZ-ier PASS

pay toll.pngIt was a coup to have the entire Northeast quadrant of the U.S. use Mastercard/Visa based EZ PASS.  Imagine the windfall when every one of those states began to pay a percentage of their toll-road collections to processors.

Yet, the states do it gladly because consumers love the convenience, faster transaction times and less traffic.  The states love fewer employee salaries and benefits to payout and EZ PASS reduces the cost of collecting, counting and converting cash.

Note to self: Create a company which creates consumer-funded accounts which make payments in Bitcoin in an automated way, e.g., wherever payments must be made with a credit card, Bitcoin is used instead.  (Banks aren’t going to like that.)

In the New York-New Jersey region alone nearly one-third of all of the tolls in the United States are collected; some 4 billion dollars annually.  We are paying about $100 million a year in processing credit cards to pay those tolls.  Drivers could save that much money by using Bitcoin.