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Toll Collectors


A decline in employment is expected for toll collectors in the coming years, according to an article by the Pew Charitable Trusts. Electronic toll collection (ETC) has adversely affected the employment of toll collectors. In 2015 (the most recent data available), of the 34 states that had toll roads, 23 of them used ETC in addition to a cash payment system. As of September 2020, the E-ZPass electronic toll collection program was used in 18 states, but there is yet to be one national, interoperable electronic tolling system. The electronic technology includes systems that identify and classify vehicles as well as capture video images of license plates that do not have a valid tag. Computerized toll-collecting benefits truck drivers and commuters who frequent the toll roads, but states that have implemented ETC have put a freeze on hiring additional toll collectors or replacing toll collectors who retire or move into other jobs. The coronavirus pandemic also caused a decline in employment for toll collectors, due to lockdowns and travel restrictions. More people have started traveling again by car, however. Going forward, this may increase the need for toll collectors but jobs will be few and competition will be keen. A small number of toll collectors will be needed to collect tolls from drivers who do not participate in ETC. Toll collectors may be retrained to monitor and maintain this emerging technology.

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