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N.Y. Thruway To Make Switch To Cashless Tolls Overnight Friday

Overnight on Friday, the New York State Thruway will make the switch to all cashless tolling. By Saturday morning, cameras mounted on steel gantries above the roadway will extract the tolls from E-ZPass accounts, or send bills to motorists without one.

Cameras on 70 gantries at 58 locations on the Thruway will be turned on simultaneously in the early hours of Saturday morning, and all of the remaining toll booths will shut down.

“They all have to turn on at the exact same time,” said Matt Driscoll, Thruway Authority executive director. “So that we can start recording that accordingly.”

The tolls for E-ZPass holders will remain the same, but for those without the electronic passes, the Thruway Authority is proposing that tolls be increased by 30% beginning in January. Bills will be sent to the address where the car is registered. There will also be late fees if the balance isn’t paid within 30 days.

Driscoll recommends buying an E-ZPass.

“We encourage people to go ahead and get an E-ZPass now,” Driscoll said. “Before the conversion takes place.”

The Thruway Authority also has a mobile app for E-ZPass.

The $355 million dollar project is expected to reduce traffic jams at toll booths on the Thruway, and reduce exhaust fumes due to idling vehicles.

The toll collectors, though, will be out of a job. Around 100 full time collectors are retiring or will be placed in another state agency; 903 part time collectors will be laid off.

Karen has covered state government and politics for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 New York and Connecticut stations, since 1990. She is also a regular contributor to the statewide public television program about New York State government, New York Now. She appears on the reporter’s roundtable segment, and interviews newsmakers.