Final Two MTA Crossings Mark Significant Milestone as Bronx-Whitestone and Throgs Neck Bridges Go Cashless at 3 AM Saturday, September 30
Cashless Tolling Improves Traffic Flow, Reduces Congestion and Decreases Commute Times
New Toll Collection Technology Reduces Carbon Emissions and Fuel Burned by Motorists
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the installation of Cashless Tolling at all MTA Bridges and Tunnels will be completed this weekend - three months ahead of schedule. The final two crossings to implement Cashless Tolling, the Bronx-Whitestone and Throgs Neck Bridges, will no longer be accepting cash beginning at 3 a.m. on Saturday, September 30. The completion of Cashless Tolling on the remaining two bridges marks a significant milestone in Governor Cuomo's comprehensive plan to reimagine New York's transportation infrastructure for 21st century travelers. The benefits of this technology are already making it easier for New Yorkers to get where they need to go, with improved traffic flow, reduced congestion and decreased commute times.
"Open road, Cashless Tolling is critical to modernizing our roadways, easing congestion, and reimagining our transportation system for the 21st century economy," Governor Cuomo said. "Transitioning MTA bridges and tunnels to Cashless Tolling not only improves the safety of motorists, it reduces carbon emissions and helps further our efforts to provide a greener and more modern New York for all."
Originally announced to be completed by the end of 2017, open road Cashless Tolling will be fully implemented on Saturday, September 30 at all MTA bridges and tunnels - three months ahead of schedule. The following bridges and tunnels are complete and no longer accept cash:
Henry Hudson Bridge - November 20, 2016
Hugh L. Carey Tunnel - January 4, 2017
Queens Midtown Tunnel - January 10, 2017
Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge - April 30, 2017
Cross Bay Veterans Bridges - April 30, 2017
Verrazano-Narrows Bridge - July 8, 2017
Robert F. Kennedy Bridge - June 15, 2017
Throgs Neck Bridge - September 30, 2017
Bronx-Whitestone Bridge - September 30, 2017
As a result of accelerated construction announced by the Governor on June 12, and the interagency team, composed of the Governor's Office, the Department of Transportation and the MTA to oversee expedited construction - the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge, which was scheduled to be completed on October 31, will have Cashless Tolling live a month early on September 30. The acceleration of construction also resulted in an early Cashless Tolling Go Live date for the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, moving the completion date from November 30 to July 8, 2017, and the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge, moving the Go Live date from August 31 to June 15, 2017.
Before Cashless Tolling, drivers would spend more than 6,400 hours per day waiting to pay tolls at MTA crossings and wait up to 1 hour and 45 minutes in cash lanes every month. With the implementation of Cashless Tolling, commuters are projected to save up to 21 hours of drive time every year, conserving over one million gallons of fuel and saving customers $2.5 million each year in fuel costs, while reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 20 million pounds.
Between January and August 2017, drivers at MTA crossings with Cashless Tolling have saved:
- Over 2.1 million total hours of travel time;
- Up to 14.4 hours of travel time per driver;
- Over 970,000 gallons of fuel, which equates to over $2.4 million in savings at recent average regional gas prices; and
- 19.0 million pounds or 9,503 US tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
"The accelerated schedule we undertook to bring Cashless Tolling to all of our facilities in 2017 underscores the MTA's commitment to meeting the standards set forth by Governor Cuomo and the needs of a growing City," said MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota. "For our customers, not having to stop at toll booths will allow for a smoother, quicker, and more continuous commute across all of our crossings."
At all MTA bridges and tunnels, sensors and cameras suspended over the roadway on structures, known as "gantries," read E-ZPass tags and take license plate images, so vehicles no longer have to stop and pay tolls. Vehicles with E-ZPass tags are automatically charged. Vehicles without E-ZPass have their license plate recorded and a bill is mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle. E-ZPass tags should be mounted inside the vehicle's front windshield.
To ensure that all users of MTA toll facilities pay their fair share, a series of enforcement measures are in place to tackle toll payment evasion and chronic toll scofflaws. Customers who do not pay their tolls are subject to violation fees, registration suspensions, and other enforcement actions. Late fees accrue if an initial toll bill is unpaid, and if a second notice is also ignored, violation fees of up to $100 per toll violation may be imposed.
The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles has enacted regulation that allows suspension of the vehicle registration of motorists with three or more unpaid tolls, violation fees and other charges resulting from violations on different days, as well as registration suspension of commercial vehicle owners with $200 or more in unpaid tolls and violation fees within a period of five years. Repeated notices are sent before eligibility for suspension.
All drivers are encouraged to visit MTA.info/E-ZPass to sign up and save 30-50 percent on MTA tolls. E-ZPass "On-the-Go" tags will continue to be sold until September 30 in all cash lanes at the Bronx-Whitestone and Throgs Neck Bridges. Tags cost $30, come with $20 in prepaid tolls, and have a $10 refundable deposit, which is waived if the tag is linked to a credit card or bank account for automated replenishment. E-ZPass tags can also be purchased at local DMV offices and at the New York Transit Museum Store.
E-ZPass customers are encouraged to sign up for Mobile Alerts to receive email and/or text messages of important information regarding their E-ZPass account. Notifications are sent for low balances, failed payments, successful replenishments, increased replenishment amounts, and payment method expirations. Customers can login to their account at www.e-zpassny.com, go to Account Profile, and opt-in to Mobile Alerts. Customers must have an email address and/or cell phone number listed on their account.
For drivers who don't have E-ZPass and drive through a Cashless Tolling facility, the registered vehicle owner will receive a Toll Bill in the mail. Drivers who receive a bill can pay it online at the Tolls by Mail website, by mail, over the phone, or in-person, and payment options include check, credit card, bank account, or cash. Customers who call **826 from most mobile devices will receive a text with a link to the Tolls by Mail website and information on how to set up a Pay Toll Now account that can be used by rental car customers.
For additional information on Cashless Tolling and E-ZPass, visit MTA.info/cashless or call 1-800-333-8655 (TOLL).
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