Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- What is the Thruway? Which roads are part of the system?
- How old is the Thruway?
- How busy is the Thruway?
- Are tourist information centers located on the Thruway?
- How many service areas does the Thruway operate? Where are they located? What will I find at each?
- How can I find out what my Thruway tolls will be?
- Where can I find out what the travel conditions are like on the Thruway during periods of inclement weather?
- How can I report a pothole that I've seen on the Thruway?
- What is E-ZPass? How do I get it?
- Are New York State Thruway tolls waived for U.S. Military Veterans?
- How do I get a job with the Thruway?
- What is Cashless Tolling?
- What is Tolls By Mail?
- I just traveled over the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, the Grand Island Bridges, the Harriman Toll Barrier or through the Yonkers Toll Barrier. How do I pay my toll?
- What is the New NY Bridge project?
- When will the new Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge open?
- What is the Hudson Link?
- Are there bus lanes on the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge?
- Who can use the bus lanes?
- What are ramp meters and where will they be located?
What is the Thruway? Which roads are part of the system?
The Governor Thomas E. Dewey Thruway, the 570-mile superhighway crossing New York State, is one of the longest toll superhighway systems in the United States.
The Thruway's 426-mile mainline connects New York City and Buffalo, the state's two largest cities. The Thruway route from New York to the Pennsylvania line at Ripley is 496 miles long.
Other Thruway sections make direct connections with the Connecticut and Massachusetts turnpikes, New Jersey's Garden State Parkway and Interstate 287, and other major expressways that lead to New England, Canada, the Midwest and the South.
The Thruway includes Interstate 87 (New York City to Albany); Interstate 95 (New York City to Connecticut); Interstate 287 (connecting I-87 with I-95); Interstate 90 (both the Berkshire Spur, which connects I-87 with the Massachusetts Turnpike, and the mainline Thruway, which runs from Albany to the Pennsylvania border through Syracuse and Buffalo), and Interstate 190 (connecting Buffalo with Niagara Falls).
For a visual representation of the Thruway system, use our On-Line Map.
How old is the Thruway?
The first section of Thruway, a 115-mile stretch from Lowell to Rochester, opened on June 24, 1954. By December 23, 1960, all 559 miles of the original Thruway system were open.
The Cross Westchester Expressway and Interstate 84 were added to the Thruway system in 1991.
The maintenance and operation responsibilities of Interstate 84 were reverted to the New York State Department of Transportation on October 30, 2007 to achieve revenue neutrality after the discontinuation of toll collection at the Black Rock and City Line Barriers on October 30, 2006 (revenue neutrality was achieved through funding provided by the New York State Senate for one year. On October 11, 2010, operational maintenance of Interstate 84 was returned to the New York State Department of Transportation.
How busy is the Thruway?
About 250 million vehicles travel more than 8 billion miles on the Thruway each year.
Are tourist information centers located on the Thruway?
Yes, there are 10 centers located on the Thruway. Two more are located at Thruway interchanges, and five others can be found within a mile of interchanges.
Go to our Information Centers page for specific locations.
How many service areas does the Thruway operate? Where are they located? What will I find at each?
There are 27 service areas on the Thruway. Each offers a variety of food choices, as well as fuel and other amenities.
For more details on each service area and what they offer, go to the Service Areas page found on this site.
How can I find out what my Thruway tolls will be?
The Authority provides a Toll & Distance Calculator which will estimate tolls, distance and travel time for entry and exit points anywhere on the Thruway system for all vehicle classifications. Patrons are required to enter the height and number of axels on the vehicle.
Where can I find out what the travel conditions are like on the Thruway during periods of inclement weather?
The Thruway Winter Traveler Advisory is available during winter months.
The Thruway also maintains a toll-free number for customers to call for this information: 1-800-THRUWAY (1-800-847-8929). The recorded message is updated as conditions change and patrons can choose any region for which they would like weather information.
Other important Thruway phone numbers can be found on this site's Phone Numbers page.
How can I report a pothole that I've seen on the Thruway?
Motorists may call 1-800-POTHOLE (1-800-768-4653) to report potholes on any State-owned highway, including the Thruway, except in New York City, where motorists may report potholes by dialing 311. Potholes on county or town roads, city and village streets, or private roadways should be reported to the appropriate owner.
Calls received by the hotline are directed to the closest Department of Transportation or Thruway Authority maintenance facility, from which a maintenance crew will be dispatched as soon as weather conditions and other factors permit.
Individuals calling the hotline will be asked to provide detailed information regarding the location of the pothole, including: the name of the community or county, state route number or interstate; closest reference marker number; closest exit number; the direction of travel and the nearest landmark or crossroad.
What is E-ZPass? How do I get it?
E-ZPass is an electronic toll collection system which takes cash, coins and toll tickets out of the toll collection process. Instead, drivers pre-pay tolls and attach a small electronic device to their vehicles. Tolls are automatically calculated and deducted from the pre-paid accounts as E-ZPass customers pass through the toll lanes.
The Thruway Authority was the first toll agency in the Northeast to offer electronic toll collection to its customers. View of map of where E-ZPass is accepted.
E-ZPass information and applications can be obtained by calling 1-800-333-TOLL (1-800-333-8655). Applications are also available online at www.e-zpassny.com.
More E-ZPass information is available on the E-ZPass page.
Are New York State Thruway tolls waived for U.S. Military Veterans?
Only Disabled Veterans holding a FEE EXEMPT registration can qualify to travel the Thruway toll free. Qualification does not depend on VA plates.
More information is available on the Disabled Veterans page.
How do I get a job with the Thruway?
The Thruway Authority fills most of its positions via Civil Service lists, which are maintained by the NYS Department of Civil Service. Please visit their website for listings of upcoming Civil Service exams and job openings. We also have information on Thruway-specific job opportunities.
If you are looking for more specific information, please call our Personnel/Recruitment line during business hours (Eastern time) at 1-800-525-3586.
What is Cashless Tolling?
Cashless Tolling is a free flowing tolling system that operates without toll booths or barriers. It saves motorists time and money, improves safety on the roadway and reduces congestion and air pollution. Cashless tolling is currently in place at the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge and the Grand Island Bridges . It will be implemented at the Harriman Toll Barrier in Fall 2018, and expand system-wide in 2020. Tolls are collected either by E-ZPass or through Tolls By Mail .
Go to our Cashless Tolling section for more information.
What is Tolls By Mail?
The Thruway Authority contracts with Tolls By Mail to bill customers without an E-ZPass, after they travel through a cashless tolling location such as the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge and the Grand Island Bridges, the Harriman Toll Barrier and the Yonkers Toll Barrier. After a motorist travels through a cashless facility, an image is captured of the license plate. A toll bill is mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle at the address on file with the Department of Motor Vehicles. Payment can also be made on the Tolls By Mail website or by calling the customer service center at 1-844-826-8400.
Go to our Cashless Tolling section for more information.
I just traveled over the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, the Grand Island Bridges, the Harriman Toll Barrier or through the Yonkers Toll Barrier. How do I pay my toll?
If you have E-ZPass, your toll is collected using the same process that you are already familiar with.
Motorists without an E-ZPass using the cashless tolling system can pay their toll bill a variety of ways. After a motorist travels through a cashless facility, an image is captured of the license plate. Using the address on file with the Department of Motor Vehicles, a toll bill is mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle. Payment can also be made on the Tolls By Mail website or by calling the customer service center at 1-844-826-8400.
Go to our Cashless Tolling section for more information.
What is the New NY Bridge project?
The New York State Thruway Authority replaced the Tappan Zee Bridge with the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, a 3.1-mile state-of-the-art, twin-span bridge across the Hudson River between Rockland and Westchester counties.
The $3.98 billion project was one of the largest single design-build contracts for a transportation project in the United States.
Find out more about the project on the website.
When did the new Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge open?
The first span of the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge opened in August 2017. All traffic from the former Tappan Zee Bridge was temporarily shifted onto the first span, until the second span opened in September 2018. The fully completed project will have eight general traffic lanes, breakdown and emergency lanes, dedicated bus lanes in each direction, and a bicycle and walking path.
What is the Hudson Link?
Hudson Link is an enhanced bus service that takes commuters across the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge and within the I-287 corridor. It features new, world-class buses and intelligent transportation management technology with real-time traffic information for commuters. Hudson Link, run by Transdev, provides more than 230 one-way rides per day between Rochester and Westchester counties with an estimated annual ridership of more than 400,000. Commuters are taken to Metro-North stations in Tarrytown or White Plains, both in Westchester County. For more information on the service and to access the transit schedules, visit www.ridehudsonlink.com .
Are there bus lanes on the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge?
Yes. A dedicated bus lane on the eastbound span opened in late October 2018. The westbound lane will be available for use after construction of the shared use path is complete in 2019. The bus lane is located on the right side of the road, between the general travel lanes and the outside shoulder.
Who can use the bus lanes?
Only vehicles with seating for 15 or more passengers are permitted to use the bus lanes. These include Hudson Link buses, charter buses, school buses, and other regional public transit buses. New York State Police are responsible for enforcing the proper use of the bus lane on the bridge. The first violation will carry a fine of $150, and the penalty would escalate for any repeat violations within an 18-month period.
What are ramp meters and where will they be located?
As part of the Lower Hudson Transit Link (LHTL) program, ramp meters will be installed at 13 interchanges on I-87/287. Ramp metering is a system used to manage congestion on the highway by regulating vehicle flow from local access entrance ramps. In addition to managing highway flow, the system monitors how many vehicles are on an entrance ramp to prevent vehicle queues from extending back onto local roadways. Three meters in Westchester are scheduled to be completed by the end of 2018; the remaining locations will be constructed in 2019 and 2020. More information can be found here: https://www.dot.ny.gov/portal/page/portal/lhtl/repository/LHTL_Ramp_Meters_Bus_Lanes_Factsheet6_091318_v4_0.pdf