The New York State Thruway Authority is offering tips and advice for drivers who must travel this Thanksgiving holiday week as cashless tolling is now live on the Thruway’s ticketed system.
The historic switchover took place at approximately 1 a.m. on Saturday, November 14th.
Now that cashless tolling is live on the entire 570-mile Thruway system, drivers no longer stop at a toll booth to pay a toll and cash is no longer accepted at any tolling location. Instead, drivers are experiencing non-stop travel under American-made steel gantries located at 58 tolling points along the ticketed system outfitted with more than 2,000 state-of-the-art cameras, and seven of the Thruway’s fixed-price barriers in the lower Hudson Valley and Western New York regions.
Vehicles with E-ZPass tags are charged the same way they always have been. Vehicles without E-ZPass tags 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 dial **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.
Cashless Tolling Billing Segments
The Thruway’s toll rate structure did not change with the conversion to cashless tolling. There are, however, some slight changes to the way transactions will be displayed on E-ZPass statements and Tolls by Mail invoices. The Thruway ticketed system has been divided into 14 segments; 6 start/end segments (brown) and 8 fixed toll segments (green). In the illustration below, the brown and green highway gantries represent the tolling segments. These brown and green highway gantries are located between exits. The blue gantries are located on the entry/exit ramps of the Thruway. When a driver travels through more than one of these segments, multiple transactions will appear on their statement.
Multiple Options to Pay Tolls
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 can purchase an E-ZPass On-the-Go tag at 26 Thruway Service Areas system-wide, more than 800 locations across the state including participating grocery and convenience stores and government offices, DMV offices, and AAA retail stores.
At the end of 2019, there were more than 6.6 million NY E-ZPass account holders and 12 million tags accounting for more than 211 million trips on the Thruway. Current E-ZPass account holders should follow these important tips to make paying even easier:
Keep Account Updated
Update ALL CHANGES of payment method, address, license plates, vehicles, phone, and email. Timely and accurate account updates will help ensure that your E-ZPass account is always up to date and you won’t experience lapses in service. You can make many account updates via the web at e-zpassNY.com, or you may contact customer service at 1-800-333-TOLL (8655) for assistance.
Mount Tag Properly
ALWAYS install your tag on the windshield according to directions. Unless your E-ZPass tag is installed exactly as shown, it may not be “read.” Placing the tag on the sun visor, dashboard, seat, or in your hand may work sometimes, but will not work all of the time. Install your E-ZPass tag exactly as shown on the instructions that come with the tag. Tags installed incorrectly or not at all may cause unnecessary toll evasion violations. You can request new E-ZPass mounting strips for free at e-zpassny.com.
Sign Up for Mobile Text Alerts
With the removal of toll booths, customers will no longer see the driver feedback signs showing that their E-ZPass account has a low balance. Mobile alerts notify customers of low balances, successful replenishments, expiring payment methods, and more. Sign up by logging into your account and selecting “Account Profile.”
Maintain Positive Account Balance
The best way to ensure your account is always adequately funded is to sign up for credit card “automatic replenishment.” Your card will be charged and your account replenished each time your prepaid toll balance goes below a selected threshold. Customers can sign up for E-ZPass discount plans such as Pay Per Trip, which is linked to a bank account, not a credit card, and pays tolls incurred once per day and a prepaid E-ZPass account balance is not required.
Closely monitor e-mail alerts
At no cost to you, you can receive your E-ZPass account statement monthly via email. Make sure your account is updated with a valid email address and that you have selected email as your method of choice. Be aware that email settings may direct E-ZPass email alerts into spam/junk folders.
Tolls by Mail
Customers without E-ZPass tags have their license plate image captured and a toll bill mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle viaTolls by Mail. Non E-ZPass customers have a number of options to pay including by mail, over the phone, online, and via the new TollsNY app. Customers can also dial **826 from most mobile devices and receive a text message with a link to the Tolls by Mail website and information on how to pay their toll bill.
Toll Booth Removal
Drivers should expect traffic shifts or new traffic patterns and increased construction activities near all toll plazas while they are removed. Motorists should use caution while driving in these areas, as they will be active construction zones with 20 MPH posted speed limits through the toll booths. Do not stop in any toll lane. Traffic shifts are required until an entire plaza is removed, and the road is reconfigured for highway speed, open road tolling.
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