June 21, 2017
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces, as a Result of State's Acceleration of Construction Projects in Advance of "Summer of Hell," New HOV/Bus Lane to Open Tomorrow Morning on Verrazano-Narrows Bridge

TOP Governor Cuomo Announces, as a Result of State...

New Seventh Lane to Open in Time For Rush Hour and Provide Seamless Route From Staten Island to Hugh L. Carey Tunnel

Cashless Tolling to Begin on Verrazano-Narrows Bridge July 8


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced, as a result of the state's acceleration of construction projects in advance of the "Summer of Hell," a new high-occupancy vehicle/bus lane will open ahead of schedule on the Upper Level East bound (Brooklyn bound) span of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge tomorrow morning, June 22 at 6 a.m. The new seventh lane will ease congestion and provide more efficient travel from Staten Island to the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel for both New Yorkers and visitors.

"The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge is a vital route for New York City, and by opening the new HOV/Bus lane ahead of the busy summer season, we will help alleviate congestion and streamline travel for commuters," Governor Cuomo said. "This project is part of the state's larger efforts to accelerate construction projects and enhance transportation infrastructure across New York, and with the addition of cashless tolling in July, we will meet the demands of travelers for decades to come."

In addition to the new HOV/bus lane, cashless tolling will begin on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and cash will no longer be accepted beginning July 8. As part of the state’s acceleration of construction on bridges and tunnels, cashless tolling is being implemented as a more convenient and cost effective way to travel New York’s crossings.

New Verrazano-Narrows Bridge HOV/Bus Lane
Opening June 22, the new seventh lane of traffic will connect HOV lanes on the Staten Island Expressway to the Gowanus Expressway during morning rush hour to improve travel time for HOV commuters heading to Brooklyn, Manhattan and north of New York City. Access to HOV lane will be relocated from 92nd street to the Staten Island approach of the Bridge.

The construction of the new HOV/Bus lane is part of the larger $235.7 million Verrazano-Narrows Bridge upper level deck replacement project, which is replacing the original 1960s-era roadway with a lighter-weight, longer-lasting steel orthotropic deck. In addition to the new roadway, new sign structures will be added, finger joint systems at the anchorages and towers rehabilitated, and new drainage and LED roadway lighting installed.

Cashless Tolling
Cashless tolling will begin on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge on July 8, 2017 to enhance traffic flow, reduce congestion and decrease commute times for both New Yorkers and visitors. The Governor ordered the acceleration of construction on bridges and tunnels to bring cashless tolling to New York roads and improve travel throughout the Metropolitan area.

Cashless or open road tolling will be the method of toll collection at all Bridges and Tunnels’ facilities this year. The schedule of cashless tolling is as follows:

  • Verrazano-Narrows Bridge – July 8, 2017
  • Throgs Neck Bridge – September 2017
  • Bronx-Whitestone Bridge – October 

Everyone is encouraged to sign up for an E-ZPass and save 30-50 percent on tolls. Tags cost $30 and 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.

Congressman Dan Donovan said, "This is a welcome step to improve traffic flow across Staten Island’s only physical connection to New York City. Congratulations to Governor Cuomo for completing the project ahead of schedule."

Senator Andrew J. Lanza said, "I thank Governor Cuomo for this announcement of greatly needed improvements to the Verrazano-Narrows crossing which will dramatically ease traffic and enhance safety and convenience for thousands of commuters. I look forward to continued partnership with Governor Cuomo as we address regional traffic concerns."

Senator Diane J. Savino said, "Thank you to Governor Cuomo for once again reaffirming to the residents of Staten Island his commitment to easing their traffic woes. As residents face some of the longest commutes in the nation, these improvements will reduce travel times during their daily work commute, visiting families in Brooklyn, and their travels across the State. A seamless transition from Bridge to Tunnel paired with cashless tolling will be a welcomed improvement to all."

Assemblyman Michael Cusick said, "In addition to redesigning the entire express bus system, the inclusion of the HOV/bus lane should allow for a more reliable and fluid commute for Staten Islanders, on both the outgoing and return trip. It is encouraging for local residents who have been burdened with traffic congestion for so long on a vital thoroughfare off of the island."

Assemblyman Matthew Titone said, "Given Staten Islanders suffer one of the longest commutes in the nation, I support efforts such as the HOV/bus lane that can improve transportation options and our quality of life by reducing time in transit."

Assemblyman Ron Castorina said, "As my constituents face some of the worst commuting times in this nation this brings some hope. The opening of this HOV lane, ahead of schedule, coupled with their reexamination of existing bus routes brings a strong potential to slash these horrific commuting times. I am looking forward to seeing how these changes will effect travel times."

Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis said, "With Staten Islanders facing the longest commutes in the country, HOV access across the Verrazano Bridge has been sorely needed for decades.  HOV and cashless tolling should alleviate the bottlenecks to which we've become all too accustomed, and finally bring some relief to many who face an arduous daily trip."

Staten Island Borough President James S. Oddo said, "Staten Islanders continue to contend with a hellish commute that robs them of time with loved ones. Every improvement that can help get them to work and home quicker and more efficiently is welcome. A glaring hole in the HOV system has long been the lack of such a dedicated lane on the Verrazano Bridge. The opening of the Verrazano HOV lane will connect to the HOV lane on the Staten Island Expressway and the Gowanus to help improve our commutes. Thank you to the Governor for working with us to improve the commute for Staten Islanders."

New York City Council Minority Leader Steven Matteo said, "The opening of the HOV lane on the Verrazano will create a faster commute for those using mass transit or carpooling. I hear from constituents every day about their lengthy trips to work, and this will make their commutes a little better. It is imperative that we continue to do all we can to ensure a more efficient commute for our constituents who already endure one of the worst commutes in the country. I thank the Governor and his administration for making this improvement a reality."

New York City Councilwoman Debi Rose said, "The opening of this new HOV lane is a welcome addition to our transportation network, creating a seamless HOV lane from Staten Island to the Hugh Carey Tunnel. This lane will help speed commutes for thousands of my constituents while encouraging commuters to carpool and use mass transit. I thank the governor and state officials for ensuring its completion."

Contact the Governor's Press Office
Contact the Governor's Press Office