For Immediate Release: 10/14/2020
Contact: Office of Media Relations and Communications | (518) 471-5300 | email@example.com
THRUWAY AUTHORITY ANNOUNCES CASHLESS TOLLING TO GO LIVE ON NYS THRUWAY IN NOVEMBER
Tribute Website Launched Celebrating Toll Collectors in Authority’s 66-Year History of Cash Toll Collection
Marketing Campaign Launched Across Upstate New York to Educate Motorists About Cashless Tolling and Encourage Motorists to Sign Up for E-ZPass
The New York State Thruway Authority today announced cashless tolling will go live on the Thruway’s ticketed system in November. The historic conversion will take place overnight all at once at tolling locations across the 570-mile Thruway system. The exact date will be announced to motorists in advance.
“This historic modernization of the Thruway system is one of the largest projects in the Authority’s history,” Thruway Authority Executive Director Matthew J. Driscoll said. “When we ‘flip the switch’ on cashless tolling in November, a new era of toll collection will commence and millions of drivers that travel the Thruway each year will benefit for generations to come.”
As Governor Cuomo first announced in his 2018 State of the State address, the $355 million conversion to cashless tolling will transform and modernize the Thruway system for the approximately 267 million motorists that travel the superhighway each year. Cashless tolling reduces congestion through free-flowing traffic and reduces emissions by eliminating idling at toll booths.
A total of 70 steel gantries have been installed at 58 tolling points on the Thruway’s ticketed system. The gantries will replace the current toll plazas, which are scheduled to be removed in Phase 2 of the project later this year and in 2021. The gantries were built utilizing approximately 3.5 million pounds of 100 percent American-made steel and hundreds of New York workers in accordance with the “New York Buy American” Act at LMC Industrial Contractors Inc. in Livingston County.
Tribute to Toll Collection Staff
The conversion to cashless tolling marks the end of an era for the Thruway Authority with the conclusion of cash toll collection at toll booths along the Thruway after 66 years of operation. Since the first tolls were collected on the Thruway in June 1954, toll collectors have been the backbone of the organization, assisting customers and collecting cash tolls along the superhighway. As a tribute, the Thruway Authority has launched a webpage dedicated to the history of toll collection. From 1954 to 2020, more than 12,000 men and women have served as toll collectors, working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in all weather conditions.
The Thruway Authority is also launching a marketing campaign beginning on Monday, Oct. 12 to promote awareness and educate motorists about the conversion to cashless tolling and encourage drivers to sign up for E-ZPass. The campaign will include drive-time radio ads across Upstate New York, digital billboards, social media posts and additional advertising opportunities. Variable Message Signs (VMS) on the Thruway and at current toll plazas will also be utilized to alert drivers of the upcoming change and traffic shifts.
Following the conversion to cashless tolling, the existing toll plazas and barriers will be removed in phases. During the deconstruction phase, 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 should expect traffic shifts and must use caution around the toll plazas during this time, as it will be an active construction zone. The posted speed limit when traveling through the toll lanes will be 20 MPH.
For additional information on how cashless tolling works and tips on how to pay bills on time, visit the Thruway Authority's website at thruway.ny.gov/cashless.
When cashless tolling is operational, motorists will drive seamlessly under gantries 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 tolls. There will be more than 2,000 state-of-the-art cameras affixed to the gantries when completed.
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 via Tolls By Mail. Non E-ZPass customers can pay a number of ways including by mail, over the phone, online, and via the TollsNY app available in the App Store and GooglePlay. Customers who call **826 from most mobile devices will receive a text message with a link to the Tolls By Mail website and information on how to set up a "Pay Toll Now" account.
Motorists are encouraged to sign up for E-ZPass, the easiest and quickest way to pay tolls on the NYS Thruway. All drivers, no matter of residency, can sign up for a New York E-ZPass account at E-ZPassNY.com; by calling the E-ZPass Toll Free Customer Service Center at 800-333-TOLL (8655). E-ZPass On-the-Go tags can be purchased at 26 Thruway Service Areas system-wide, more than 900 locations across the state including select grocery and convenience stores and government offices, state-operated DMV offices, and AAA retail stores.
Current E-ZPass customers are encouraged to sign up for Mobile Alerts and mount Tags to their windshield properly. Customers can login to their account at www.e-zpassny.com for more information.
The Thruway is scheduled to convert to an entirely cashless tolling system by the end of 2020. For more information and project updates, go to thruway.ny.gov/cashless.
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