Cashless Tolling Project FAQs
Why did the Thruway convert to cashless tolling?
The Thruway Authority is modernizing its 570-mile transportation system by converting to cashless tolling. Cashless tolling reduces congestion, improves traffic flow, is better for the environment, and allows for non-stop travel on New York’s toll roads, bridges and tunnels. The Thruway Authority converted to cashless tolling system-wide in November 2020.
What are some common terms related to the cashless tolling project?
Some common terms you will see referenced about the cashless tolling project include:
- Mainline: The mainline of the Thruway extends 426 miles, from New York City to Buffalo (I-87 and I-90). Other elements of the system include the New England Thruway (I-95), the Cross Westchester Expressway (I-287), the Garden State Parkway Connector, the Berkshire Connector (I-90), the Niagara Thruway (I-190), and the Erie Section (I-90).
- Gantry: A gantry is an overhead structure with a platform supporting equipment such as antennas, cameras and other sensors
- Highway Gantry: A gantry located on the Thruway mainline
- Ramp Gantry: A gantry located on the entrance and exit ramp
How does cashless tolling work?
Motorists drive under a gantry with state-of-the-art sensors and cameras that read E-ZPass tags and take license plate images, so vehicles no longer have to stop to pay the toll.
Vehicles with E-ZPass tags are automatically charged and vehicles without E-ZPass tags will have their license plate image captured and a toll bill mailed to the registered owner of each vehicle.
What work is included in this project?
The Design Build project will include the installation of cashless tolling gantries and equipment and the removal of existing toll booths at 52 Thruway interchanges and toll barriers across New York State. There are two main phases to the project. The first phase is the installation of the gantries on the Thruway and ramps, and the activation of the cashless tolling equipment. The second phase will be the removal of the toll plazas.
How much will the project cost?
The project is a $355.3 million capital investment.
Who was awarded the project?
Cashless Tolling Constructors, LLC was awarded the project through a competitive bidding process.
When did the project begin?
The project began in fall 2019 with the installation of steel gantries and cashless tolling equipment.
When will the project be complete?
The Thruway converted to cashless tolling in November 2020. Construction work will continue in 2021 to remove the toll plazas and realign interchanges.
How will traffic be impacted during construction?
Motorists can expect lane closures and traffic shifts on the Thruway and on entrance/exit ramps for the duration of the project.
You can view the weekly traffic schedule in your area by visiting: http://www.thruway.ny.gov/travelers/laneclosures/index.shtml
What will happen to the existing toll plazas once cashless tolling is in place?
After cashless tolling became operational in November 2020, the second phase of the project began, which includes the removal of the toll plazas and realignment and repaving of the exit/entrance ramps.
The existing toll plazas at 52 Thruway interchanges will be removed in phases. For a yet to be determined time period, drivers will continue to travel through existing toll lanes at reduced speeds without stopping until the booths are removed and road reconfigurations are complete. Drivers will be strongly urged to slow down and use caution around the toll plazas during this time, as it will be an active construction zone.
One exception is the toll plaza on I-87 at exit 17 (Newburgh - Scranton- I-84 - NY Routes 17K & 300). The toll plaza will remain and the toll booths removed. Motorists will drive through the toll lanes at the posted speed limit.
Are any cash lanes available?
No. Cashless tolling is operational on the Thruway system-wide. Cash lanes are no longer available to pay the toll.
What happened to the toll collectors once cashless tolling was in place?
Since the announcement in January 2018, the Thruway Authority commenced with a detailed outreach program including dedicated resources to connect all impacted toll employees with future professional career opportunities and potential career paths. Additionally, a number of toll collectors were eligible for retirement and chose to retire.
Do I need to have an E-ZPass?
E-ZPass is the most convenient way to pay for tolls on the Thruway. If you do not have an E-ZPass, cameras will take a picture of your license plate when you pass under the gantries and a toll bill will be mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle using Tolls by Mail. Motorists can also pay for their toll bill online and over the phone.
Learn more about the billing process.
Who can I contact if I have a question or concern about the project?
You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Thruway Authority at 518-471-5300 during regular business hours Monday through Friday.