The Massachusetts Department of Transportation was passing out E-ZPass transponders in Lee and Chicopee on Thursday.
Residents were able to sign up for the first time to receive the transponders or trade in orange transponders for new ones. Hundreds of people lined up at the Big Y parking lot in Chicopee Thursday afternoon to take part.
The Massachusetts Legislature passed a transportation bill bringing back tolls on the Massachusetts Turnpike between Exits 1 and 6. Tolls had not been collected on that portion of the turnpike for several years. Tolls will be collected at those exits beginning on Oct. 15.
MassDOT Highway Administrator Frank DePaola said it was his department's goal to get as many people signed up for the program as possible. He said they were quickly approaching 2 million transponders in Massachusetts.
During peak commuting times Depaola said nearly 90 percent of vehicles on the Mass Pike were using electronic toll devices.
More sign-up events were being scheduled in western Massachusetts in September and October. Customers may also sign up for E-ZPass online.
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