From: Joachim Feise (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Sat Jan 29 2000 - 10:58:34 PST
Since I have one of these devices, I know that they are no batteries inside. These things
are completely sealed. I guess they use some kind of induction to generate the energy
required for the device to transmit data, much like smartcards. This would explain
why the "static bag" works: it just shields the device.
I think they only transmit the device #, which can then be associated with your account.
They maintain a balance on your account, and the amount (which can change depending on
traffic congestion on the 91) is deducted from it. If your account balance gets below
$10, they fill up the account by deducting a predefined amount from your credit card.
And you don't have different accounts for the 91 and the other toll roads.
You get one bill, but it seems the transactions for the 91 are maintained separately,
since they are not summed up under "Total for transponder xxx".
Gregory Alan Bolcer wrote:
> It seems that e-commerce will be more of a device than a piece of software.
> I found out last night that you can now pay for McDonald's drive through anywhere
> along the 73 with your FasTrak toll device. There's 250,000 McDonald's restaurants (not
> in OC of course) and 250,000 FasTrak devices that have been activated so far. Someone
> must have put 250 and 250 together. A search of the McD's web site  turns up no
> press releases; a search of the FasTrak site turns up no press releases. It'll
> be interesting to see how it works out. There's very little information about
> the actual devices. It seems that they are a passive, are able to receive estimated
> costs over localized signal and a deduction is made from a credit card account. Also,
> there's a magic little silver bag called a "static bag" that you can put over it so that the toll doesn't
> get deducted. If you are a carpooler, i.e. two or more people, you are allowed to travel the
> tool road for free. You can use the same FasTrak device for both the 91 and the other local
> transportation cooridors, but you get separate billing statements and have to have
> separate accounts. I scanned through all their pages before sending them two questions:
> "Does it have a battery and what happens if/when it runs out?"
>  http://www.mcdonalds.com/
>  http://www.tcagencies.com/index.html
>  SR-241, SR-261, SR- 133, SR-73, SR-91, I-15 and the Carquinez Bridge.
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