Starting Monday, drivers who use the E-ZPass system to pay highway tolls also can use it to purchase gasoline at over two dozen Massachusetts service stations ― and save 30 cents a gallon in the process — after preregistering on a private website.
Developed by Boston-based PayByCar, a trial version of the new service was installed at 27 Alltown service stations this spring, including locations in Abington, Braintree, Concord, Framingham, Lowell, Marlborough, Roxbury, Saugus, Stoughton, and Wellesley.
“We’ve got a few hundred people who found it on their own,” said PayByCar founder Kevin Condon. But as of this week, it’s open for use by the general public.
Between now and Feb. 10, customers who use the service will receive a discount of 30 cents per gallon for purchases of up to 20 gallons of gas. The discount is good for up to five fill-ups per E-ZPass user. Those without an E-ZPass can still participate by getting a free sticker from PayByCar. The sticker contains a short-range radio chip that works on the same principle as an E-ZPass transponder.
Users must preregister at the PayByCar website. They must provide the number of their E-ZPass transponder, a credit card number, and a mobile phone number. When registered users drive into an Alltown station, they automatically get a text message asking the number of the gas pump. Once this is provided, the users can gas up and drive away. The fuel is charged to their credit card.
Condon said the service was developed in cooperation with the E-ZPass Group, the consortium that runs the toll payment service in 19 states. Condon said the PayByCar service marks the first time that E-ZPass has been used to pay for something other than highway tolls. But he hopes to expand the service to other car-based retailing services. For instance, drivers could potentially use their transponders to pay for parking, or to buy fast food in the drive-through lane.