DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – The Detroit-Windsor Tunnel is planning to phase out the use of tokens after 2013.
Officials with the border crossing between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, say that starting Monday electronic toll payment will be available on the Canadian side.
“We’re going to be getting out of the token business,” Tunnel president Neal Belitsky said in a statement.
“It takes time to buy rolls of tokens. All that is going to disappear. If you look throughout the U.S. or Canada, you can count the number of transportation facilities that use tokens … probably on one hand,” he said.
The electronic system involves Nexpress cards, radio-frequency identification cards similar to those used in the NEXUS border crossing program.
Canadian customers will be able to order a Nexpress card online, and load it with funds from their Visa, MasterCard or bank account.
Delivery of the card is free, but users will have to put a balance of at least $100 on the card in order to register. Each successive toll payment reduces the balance until it dips below $10. When remaining funds get lower than $10, the card automatically charges the user’s credit card or bank account to reload itself back to $100.
Belitsky noted that the tunnel will still have attendants, and will always accept cash.
The Nexpress system has been in place on the U.S. side of the tunnel for two years.
As of Friday, the rate to use the tunnel from Detroit to Windsor is $4.75 per car, and the rate from Windsor to Detroit is $4.50 per car.
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