Toll booths no more for the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.
That’s the plan, according to Governor Andrew Cuomo, who announced the change during a Wednesday, October 5 conference where he unveiled an initiative aimed at reducing traffic congestion by implementing automatic tolling, or open road tolling, on several MTA tunnels and bridges, including the Verrazano.
Cuomo announced that vehicles with E-ZPass will be automatically charged, and non E-ZPass vehicles will have their license plate recorded and a bill will be mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle.
“Making traffic flow faster is the goal,” Cuomo said. “We have 800,000 vehicles that go through our tunnels and bridges and drivers can wait up to an hour and 45 minutes every month to pay their tolls. 6,400 hours every day are spent waiting to pay the tolls, which is amazing when you think about it.”
The new, automated tolling is expected to enhance traffic flow, reduce congestion and decrease commute times, making it easier for New Yorkers to get where they need to go.
“With automatic tolling, vehicles never stop. They go right through the automatic tolling machine and that’s how they pay the toll. We have sensors and cameras suspended above the road in what is called a gantry. They read the E-Z Pass or the license plate. If you have an E-Z Pass, they charge it. if you don’t have one, they read your license plate and send a bill to the registered owner. It’s a proved system,” said Cuomo.
Automatic tolling is projected to save commuters up to 21 hours of drive time every year. Additionally, automatic tolling reduces emissions and significantly decreases the amount of fuel burned by drivers, who will no longer have to stop and start waiting to pay tolls. This will conserve approximately one million gallons of fuel and save $2.3 million each year, according to the MTA. Automatic tolling will begin at select bridges in January and be completed on all MTA-operated bridges by the end of next year.