On Thursday, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that cashless tolling would begin along the Thruway on Friday.
The historic conversion will take place simultaneously at 58 tolling locations across the Thruway’s 450-mile ticketed system. The ticketed system is the final section of the Thruway to be converted to cashless tolling, meeting a goal Governor Cuomo set in his 2018 State of the State address.
The official switch will take place in the overnight hours to limit impact to traffic. At the time cashless tolling goes live, cash will no longer be accepted as a form of payment at toll booths and printed toll tickets will not be handed out. To support this transition, NY E-ZPass has released a new TollsNY mobile app to help drivers manage E-ZPass accounts, find and pay Tolls by Mail invoices, and get important account alerts for tolls accrued at Thruway, MTA, and Port Authority tolling sites.
“The completion of this exciting new project will help Thruway travelers save time, as well as reduce traffic, cut greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality all along the system,” Governor Cuomo said. “Getting this cashless tolling system done and getting it done early shows that -even in these trying times – New York will never stop innovating and never stop building for its future”
“Cashless tolling is already improving traffic flow, allowing motorists to get to their destinations easier and quicker without having to stop to pay a toll,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “Less idling also complements our clean energy goals, reducing pollution for a cleaner and greener environment. We encourage all drivers to get an E-ZPass across the state, with a new mobile app to help manage accounts and alerts to make it easier for New Yorkers. This is part of our ongoing efforts to improve and modernize infrastructure and build back better and stronger for the future.”
Thruway Authority Executive Director Matthew J. Driscoll said, “The conversion to cashless tolling is one of the largest projects in the Thruway’s 66-year history. This unprecedented achievement is a significant milestone that will modernize the Thruway system for millions of drivers and ushers in a new era for toll collection that will benefit generations to come.”
The $355 million design-build project to convert to cashless tolling is transforming and modernizing the Thruway system for approximately 267 million motorists that travel the superhighway each year. As part of the project, American-made steel gantries with state-of-the-art technology have been installed to replace cash collection at toll booths. Gantries are located over the Thruway or on exit ramps depending on traffic volumes, safety, and other factors. The tolling structure will not change and drivers will continue to be tolled by distance and exits traveled.
The conversion to cashless tolling marks the end of phase one of the project. Phase two, which begins following the conversion, includes the removal of existing toll plazas. During the interchange reconstruction, drivers will continue to travel through existing toll lanes at reduced speeds without stopping until the booths are removed and road reconfigurations are complete. Drivers should expect traffic shifts and must use caution around the toll plazas during this time, as these will be active construction zones. The posted speed limit when traveling through the toll lanes will be 20 MPH.
Tribute to Toll Collection Staff
After 66 years of operation, the conversion marks the end of an era for the Thruway Authority. Since the first tolls were collected on the Thruway in June 1954, toll collectors have been the backbone of the Authority, assisting customers and collecting cash tolls along the superhighway. From 1954 to 2020, more than 12,000 men and women have served as toll collectors, working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in all weather conditions. As a tribute, the Thruway Authority launched a webpage dedicated to the history of toll collection.
Ahead of the conversion to cashless tolling on the NYS Thruway, the new TollsNY mobile app has been released to help drivers manage E-ZPass accounts, find and pay Tolls by Mail invoices, and get important account alerts for tolls accrued at Thruway, MTA, and Port Authority tolling sites. The TollsNY app is available free in the Apple Store and Google Play.
When system-wide cashless tolling is operational, motorists will experience non-stop travel under gantries with state-of-the-art sensors and cameras that read E-ZPass tags and take license plate images. The system consists of more than 2,000 state-of-the-art cameras affixed to the gantries.
Vehicles with E-ZPass tags are automatically charged and vehicles without E-ZPass tags will have their license plate image captured and a toll bill mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle via Tolls by Mail. Non E-ZPass customers have a number of options to pay including by mail, over the phone, online, and via the TollsNY app. 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 pay their toll bill.
Get E-ZPass Today and Start Saving Money
Motorists are encouraged to sign up for E-ZPass, the easiest and quickest way to pay tolls on the NYS Thruway. All drivers, regardless of residency, can sign up for a New York E-ZPass account at E-ZPassNY.com or by calling the E-ZPass Toll Free Customer Service Center at 800-333-TOLL (8655). E-ZPass On-the-Go tags are available at 26 Thruway Service Areas system-wide, more than 900 locations across the state including participating grocery and convenience stores as well as government offices, DMV offices, and AAA retail stores.
Current E-ZPass customers are encouraged to sign up for mobile alerts and to properly mount Tags to their windshield. Customers can login to their account at e-zpassny.com for more information.
For additional information on how cashless tolling works and tips on how to pay bills on time, visit the Thruway Authority’s website at thruway.ny.gov/cashless.
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