ST. IGNACE (WWJ) – Cash or credit? It’s now a choice motorists can make at the Mackinac Bridge.

The Mackinac Bridge Authority began testing acceptance of credit cards in toll lanes beginning on Tuesday, May 23 with few problems, and more than 2,200 transactions were processed through the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

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MBA Executive Secretary Bob Sweeney said the system is ready.

“We’ve been testing the new system, and have reached the point we’re comfortable that it is operating reliably and securely,” he said, in a media release. “We’re happy this new feature is available for our customers, and we’re sure they’ll appreciate the additional convenience and option is offers.”

Credit card use at the toll booths is a feature included as part of a toll software upgrade package at the Mackinac Bridge rolled out in 2015. In the past, customers without cash or a toll card would need to park their vehicle and pay their toll in the MBA office in St. Ignace.

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The credit card system includes financial security checks that require a few more seconds per transaction for verification, compared to the current average of 12 seconds per transaction. Depending on traffic volumes, the Bridge Authority says credit card use may be restricted to designated lanes at times to prevent traffic backups.

The 5-mile-long  bridge over the Straits of Mackinac connects Michigan’s upper and lower peninsulas where lakes Michigan and Huron meet.

Note: The bridge will be closed to most vehicle traffic from 6:30 a.m. until noon for the Mackinac Bridge Walk this coming Labor Day, Sept. 4. [More details].

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For more bridge updates and information, download MDOT’s Mi Drive traffic information app.