ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — 70 years of toll booths in New York will be finished with the flip of one switch this Fall.
“It’ll all happen on a Saturday night. The entire system, all at once,” said New York State Thruway Authority Operations Deputy Director Eric Christensen.
He said the $355 million cashless tolling project is in the final stretch. Gantries equipped with cameras, motion sensors, lights and monitors now span all 58 entry and exit points along the Thruway.
“The last one will be going up tonight or tomorrow and then there will be a total of 70 gantries installed,” Christensen said.
He said the Thruway Authority will announce the official start date after a 30-day test run of the network and equipment. When it’s ready, cashless tolling will be more convenient, better for the environment, and safer.
“Vehicles are jockeying for position to get in the toll plaza. There’s a lot of fender bender accidents that happen. When we reduce all that movement, we will reduce every accident at the toll plaza today and make it safer for all motorists,” Christensen said.
Only 75% of Thruway drivers use EZ Pass, so the state will launch a campaign encouraging drivers to use this more effective route come cashless tolling. Without a pass, you’ll get a collections letter in the mail and they’ll be sure you face the consequences if you don’t pay up.
“We can suspend New York State registrations if they have a failure to pay their tolls. We have an agreement with Massachusetts, so we can suspend Massachusetts drivers as well,” Christensen said.
He said toll amounts will not change from the current ticketed system.