Thruway's Ticketed System (Mainline I-90 & I-87 And Erie Section) to Go Completely Cashless By the End of 2020
Follows Opening of Cashless Tolling at Grand Island Bridges in Western New York Earlier This Year
Cashless Tolling Eases Congestion, Improves Safety, Decreases Commute Times, and Reduces Air Pollution
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced cashless tolling will begin on the Thruway Authority's remaining fixed toll barriers in the lower Hudson Valley by the end of 2018. The announcement is the next step in the historic transformation to improve traffic flow, reduce congestion and decrease commute times for the approximately 265 million motorists who travel the Thruway's 570-mile superhighway each year. Thruway Authority Acting Executive Director Matthew J. Driscoll made the announcement at the Thruway Authority's Board of Directors meeting in Albany on Tuesday.
"New York is rebuilding and reimagining our state's infrastructure and ushering a new era of toll collection that will save time and reduce congestion on our roadways," Governor Cuomo said. "Cashless tolling is already a reality in Grand Island and across the Hudson River, and will soon provide drivers across the state the convenience of reduced congestion and better traffic flow, creating a more efficient New York for all."
By the end of 2018, Harriman (I-87)*, Yonkers (I-87), New Rochelle (I-95), and Spring Valley (I-87 - Commercial Traffic Only) toll barrier locations will no longer accept cash. Altogether these four toll barriers represent 22 percent of total traffic volume on the Thruway system. The conversion to cashless tolling is expected to save each commuter approximately 200 minutes annually.
In 2016, the Thruway Authority introduced its first cashless tolling location at what is now the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge (I-87 south - I-287 east) as part of the project to replace the Tappan Zee Bridge. The Grand Island Bridges in Western New York became the Thruway Authority's second cashless tolling location earlier this year.
As announced by Governor Cuomo in his 2018 State of the State address, the entire New York State Thruway will be converted cashless by the end of 2020.
Executive Director Driscoll said, "The Thruway plays a vital role in New York State's economy and we are proud that Governor Cuomo shares our vision of a state-of-the-art, reliable superhighway of the future. Cashless tolling will improve safety and provide smoother travel across the State of New York as drivers will no longer have to stop and wait to pay tolls."
According to the MTA, New York drivers saved more than three million hours of travel time in downstate locations last year when all of the MTA bridges and tunnels were converted to cashless tolling.
When completed, the fixed toll barriers in the lower Hudson Valley will be replaced with gantries that have sensors and cameras suspended over the highway. Gantries may be located in different locations than the toll barriers, however, the tolling point will remain the same. The sensor technology reads E-ZPass tags and captures license plate images so vehicles no longer have to stop and pay the toll. Vehicles with E-ZPass tags are automatically charged, and vehicles without a tag have their license plate photographed. A toll bill will then be mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle.
As part of the transition to a more convenient and cost effective way to travel New York's roadways, the Thruway Authority is encouraging all motorists to sign up for E-ZPass and save on tolls across the state, including a five percent discount along the entire 570-mile New York State Thruway. All drivers, no matter of residency, can sign up for a New York E-ZPass account at www.E-ZPassNY.com; at E-ZPass Customer Service Centers; or by calling the E-ZPass Toll Free Customer Service Center at 1-800-333-TOLL (8655).
Tolls By Mail will be used to collect toll payment from those without E-ZPass. Motorists are required to maintain updated address information with the Department of Motor Vehicles. Drivers who receive a bill can pay it online in a few short steps at the Tolls By Mail website (www.tollsbymailny.com), by mail or over the phone, and payment options include check, credit card or direct withdrawal from a bank account. Customers who call **826 from most mobile devices will receive a text message with a link to the Tolls By Mail website and information on how to set up a "Pay Toll Now" account.
*As part of the $150 million reconstruction of the Woodbury Transit and Economic hub, announced by Governor Cuomo in February 2017, the New York State Thruway Authority will convert the Harriman toll barrier for northbound traffic from the Thruway (I-87) seeking to access Woodbury Common and NY Route 17 exit to cashless tolling. For southbound traffic from the Thruway's ticketed portion of the system, two toll lanes would remain in place.