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Open Road, Cashless Tolls Will Soon Be Complete For All Area Thruways

Cashless tolling is now a thing throughout New York.
Cashless tolling is now a thing throughout New York. Photo Credit: Flickr

More cashless tolls are coming to the lower Hudson Valley.

Officials in New York announced on Tuesday that cashless tolling will begin on the Thruway Authority's remaining fixed toll barriers in the lower Hudson Valley by the end of the year, in an effort to improve traffic flow and limit gridlock throughout the state.

"New York is rebuilding and reimagining our state's infrastructure and ushering a new era of toll collection that will save time and reduce congestion on our roadways," New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. "Cashless tolling is already a reality in Grand Island and across the Hudson River, and will soon provide drivers across the state the convenience of reduced congestion and better traffic flow, creating a more efficient New York for all.”

By the end of 2018, Harriman (I-87), Yonkers (I-87), New Rochelle (I-95), and Spring Valley (I-87 toll barrier locations will no longer accept cash.  Cuomo noted that “altogether, these four toll barriers represent 22 percent of total traffic volume on the Thruway system.” Once completed, the conversion is expected to save commuters an estimated 200 minutes annually.

The Thruway Authority first introduced cashless tolling locations on the new Tappan Zee Bridge in 2016 as part of a project to replace the bridge. The Thruway has since been busy implementing cashless toll stations statewide. The entire New York State Thruway is expected to be cashless by the end of 2020.

According to the MTA, New York drivers saved more than three million hours of travel time in downstate locations last year when all of the MTA bridges and tunnels were converted to cashless tolling.

“When completed, the fixed toll barriers in the lower Hudson Valley will be replaced with gantries that have sensors and cameras suspended over the highway,” officials stated. “Gantries may be located in different locations than the toll barriers, however, the tolling point will remain the same.

“The sensor technology reads E-ZPass tags and captures license plate images so vehicles no longer have to stop and pay the toll. Vehicles with E-ZPass tags are automatically charged, and vehicles without a tag have their license plate photographed. A toll bill will then be mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle.”

In a statement, New York Sen. David Carlucci said that “passing the Toll Payer Protection Act is more vital than ever with cashless tolling expanding in New York. We have seen the nightmare it has caused over the Tappan Zee, and we must ensure more people are not victimized.”

New York State Thruway Authority Acting Executive Director Matthew Driscoll praised Cuomo for his decision to implement statewide cashless tolls to improve the flow of traffic.

"The Thruway plays a vital role in New York State's economy and we are proud that Governor Cuomo shares our vision of a state-of-the-art, reliable superhighway of the future. Cashless tolling will improve safety and provide smoother travel across the State of New York as drivers will no longer have to stop and wait to pay tolls."

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