TIN news: New York's state government has introduced cashless tolling on the Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial and Cross Bay Veterans Bridges in order to reduce traffic congestion, as well as improve travel time at Rockaway’s major crossings ahead of the region’s summer travel season.
Toll authorities will no longer accept cash and metal tokens, with commuters instead advised to take E-Z Pass cards and transfer the equivalent amount of leftover bridge tokens to these accounts.
The government has also confirmed that the new cashless tolling system will not affect the Rockaway resident rebate programme.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said: “Cashless tolling will reduce congestion, improve safety and streamline commutes on these vital arteries, providing much-needed relief to the Rockaway community and ensuring smooth travel during the summer season.
"This is a critical milestone and a major component of our work to upgrade, improve and re-imagine New York City’s crossings for the 21st century.”
The government plans to implement cashless tolling across all the MTA bridges and tunnels in the state, as it is believed to not only improve travel times of 840,000 commuters who use this road on a day to day basis, but also save nearly 21 hours of drive time on an annual basis
In addition to improving the travel time, the cashless tolling is also expected to minimise pollution levels as there would be no waiting of vehicles at toll gates to pay fees, and would nearly save one million gallons of fuel and save $2.3m each year.
The vehicles with E-ZPass tags will be automatically charged by the sensors and cameras deployed over the gantries that will read the tags, as well as take licence plate images.
Vehicle licence plates without E-ZPass will be recorded, with bills sent to the registered owner.