New York’s Bridges and Tunnels Begin to Go Cashless

By Paul Riegler on 11 January 2017
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Cars were no longer stopping to pay tolls at the Midtown Tunnel on Tuesday

Cars were no longer stopping to pay tolls at the Midtown Tunnel on Tuesday

The agency that operates the city’s bridges and tunnels converted the city’s two major tunnels – the Queens Midtown and the Hugh L. Carey (formerly the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel) – to cashless toll collection this past week as part of the city’s plan. At 9,117 feet in length, the latter is the longest continuous underwater vehicular tunnel in the United States.

The Carey Tunnel went cashless last week and the Midtown Tunnel joined the ranks on Tuesday.

The city announced the schedule for migrating bridges and tunnels to cashless access last month. Next up are the Rockaway, RFK (Triboro), Verrazano-Narrows, Throgs Neck, and Bronx-Whitestone bridges.

“Why are we still stopping at toll booths?” said Governor Andrew Cuomo in December. “It’s just an outdated methodology of collecting money.”

Officials believe that removing toll booths will reduce traffic congestion, improve traffic flow, and make commuting less stressful.

Cashless toll collection involves a combination of using E-ZPass, the electronic toll collection system used on the city’s bridges and tunnels and a system that photographs vehicles’ license plates and bills the registered owner for the full toll. The E-ZPass toll is discounted by 30-50%.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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