Drivers using Peach Pass say delays in tolls showing up are costing them extra money

ATLANTA — Hundreds of thousands of drivers use the Peach Pass to avoid metro Atlanta’s heavy traffic.

But some drivers say they’re getting hit with extra fees because of delays in the tolls showing up on their accounts.

Several metro Atlanta drivers told Channel 2 investigative reporter Ashli Lincoln it has taken of month of using their Peach Pass before any tolls show up.

“This is just a lack of accountability,” Peach Pass customer Kevin Cleary said.

“I just feel like if we’re not on top of it, we’re just getting taken advantage of,” Peach Pass user Jaqueline Flood said.


“I’ve just stopped using it,” said Sandra Wiggins, who has a Peach Pass account.

They all told Channel 2 Action News they experienced excessive delays in tolls.

“You owe your customers an explanation for this delay in the transaction,” Cleary said.

He said he has been a Peach Pass user since the Express Lanes opened in 2011.

He told Channel 2 Action News until a few months ago, his account would get charged almost instantly when he used the lanes.

But now Cleary and other drivers said it has taken a full month before ever seeing a toll.

“I really want the convenience that comes with it, but I feel like I’m being shaken down, and there’s nothing I can do about it,” Cleary said.

“It just became frustrating,” Wiggins said.

She and Flood said the same thing happened to them.


Drivers said they can’t dispute any of the tolls because so much time has passed from when they used the Peach Pass to when the tolls show up.

And if their pre-paid account balance doesn’t have enough cash, they’re charged multiple administration fees that add up fast.

“Do you question the validity of those charges?” Lincoln asked Cleary.

“Yes, I mean of course,” Cleary said.

Other drivers have taken to social media to complain about the delays.

One user on Reddit wrote: “I used the toll for like 3-4 weeks before anyone noticed we weren’t being charged. Now I’m scared we’re gonna receive a big fat fine in the mail soon, what did we do wrong?”

Another user wrote: “It took like a month and a half for some of my drives to show up.”

“Why am I being penalized?” Kaysheila Mitchell asked.

She said the problems are not just with delayed tolls.

Mitchell said she’s received several violations for driving her electric car in the Express Lanes with the alternative fuel vehicle license plate.

“That’s still not fair to the consumers and you’re still making money by error. So how many other people have been fined erroneously?” Mitchell said.

She used a Florida SunPass which allows her to use the Express Lanes, but not for free with the alternative fuel vehicle license plate.

However, that was not clear on the Peach Pass website or when she asked at the tag office.

“I don’t think it’s fair to me as a consumer. I did everything that I was supposed to do,” Mitchell said.

Channel 2 Action News took the four driver’s concerns to the State Road & Tollway Authority, which handles billing for Peach Pass.

The agency sent this statement:

“The State Road & Tollway Authority is committed to serving our Peach Pass customers and appreciates our customers contacting us to work toward resolutions of issues that may arise with their Peach Pass experience.

“Over the past several months, the Peach Pass customer service team has been in frequent contact with each of the four customers about their unique billing circumstances, and so far, we’ve taken the following actions regarding each individual account issue: 1) educating on the process for placing and replacing a transponder so that it can be properly read by our system to prevent any delay caused by our manual image review process, 2) educating on Alternative Fuel Vehicle ownership and interoperability with other state’s electronic toll collections including opening a Peach Pass account for proper use of the Express Lanes to be eligible for free trips, 3) educating on auto-replenishment functions and managing accounts in ways that suit individual customers’ needs, and 4) working to identify the cause of delayed transactions posting to accounts and rectifying any impact caused by such delays.

“Considering the feedback we received from these customers, we have updated our website to provide more detailed information in the event other customers may have similar experiences and questions. Again, SRTA’s team prioritizes responding to customers to bring them the best Peach Pass experience possible.”

SRTA said high volume – Peach Pass now has 1 million customers – is one reason for delays.

Image reviews are another reason.

They are triggered when a car enters, leaves, and reenters the Express Lanes and when a transponder is missing or not being read properly.

In those cases, a person looks at video of the trip to determine the toll.

“I just feel like that’s taken advantage of and they need to get their system up to par,” Flood said.

After Channel 2 Action News reached out, SRTA updated the Peach Pass website to say tolls will show up in 14 to 30 days.

It used to say 7 to 10 days.

SRTA also updated the section about using the lanes for free with the Alternative Fuel Vehicle license plate.

A spokesperson told Channel 2 Action News another common cause of fees is not having enough money on the account to cover the driver’s average weekly tolls.

SRTA waived some fees or gave toll credits to three of the drivers we interviewed.