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New generation of transponder covers hide the ugliness

January 21, 2012|By William Hageman, Tribune Newspapers


"I used to hide it in the glove compartment," he says. "But then I'd have to scramble to find it. I almost got in a couple of collisions. Or I'd forget it and get a ticket. Finally I decided to go buy some kind of holder. I went online and bought 10 of them — I was pretty fanatical about it — but I couldn't find one I liked. So I decided to make my own."

That was late in 2009. Ng is now president of Tonic Concepts (, which sells a variety of transponder covers — called T-cases — that go beyond just hiding the ugliness. They're actually attractive.

The T-cases come with a non-slip pad and Velcro so they can be affixed to the dash or the windshield. They work with several permutations of the toll pass (E-Z Pass, Fast Lane, I-Pass, Smart Pass and Smart Tag) and come in eight designs with more on the way. The company has licensing agreements with several universities — Ng's alma mater, Rutgers University is the first to hit the market — and he's establishing partnerships with companies that want their brands out there.

The prices range from $7.50 for a blue one with tiny white stars to $15 for the basic black (the most popular design) to a leather variety for just over $20.







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