Syracuse, N.Y. — The New York State Thruway will throw the switch on cashless tolling this weekend, eliminating the need for motorists to stop to pay tolls on the 570-mile superhighway.
The Thruway said it will turn on the cashless system during the overnight hours of Friday, Nov. 13, into Saturday, Nov. 14.
The conversion will take place simultaneously at 58 tolling locations across the Thruway’s 450-mile ticketed system. The ticketed system is the final section of the Thruway to be converted to cashless tolling. Since 2018, cashless tolling has been operational at seven fixed toll barriers on the Thruway, including the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge and the Grand Island Bridges in Western New York.
A total of 70 steel gantries have been installed at a cost of $355 million on the Thruway’s ticketed system. Some of the gantries are over the highway and some are on entrance and exit ramps.
The system does not eliminate tolls, but the 267 million motorists who travel the limited-access highway each year will no longer have to stop at toll booths.
“The completion of this exciting new project will help Thruway travelers save time, as well as reduce traffic, cut greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality all along the system,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement Thursday.
As vehicles pass under the gantries, sensors will read their E-ZPass tags and automatically charge their accounts. Vehicles without E-ZPass tags will have their license plate image captured by cameras on the gantries and a toll bill mailed to the registered owner. More than 2,000 cameras have been installed on the gantries.
Non E-ZPass customers can pay 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.
Thruway officials said cashless tolling will reduce congestion through free-flowing traffic and cut emissions by eliminating idling at toll booths.
The Thruway’s toll plazas are scheduled to be removed in Phase 2 of the project later this year and in 2021.
During the deconstruction, drivers will continue to travel through existing toll lanes at reduced speeds without stopping until the booths are removed and road reconfigurations are complete, Thruway officials said. The posted speed limit when traveling through the toll lanes will be 20 mph.
Thruway officials are encouraging motorists to sign up for E-ZPass. All drivers, even if they live in other states, can sign up for a New York E-ZPass account at E-ZPassNY.com or 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 and at more than 900 locations across the state, including grocery and convenience stores, government offices, state-operated Department of Motor Vehicles offices, and AAA retail stores.
Rick Moriarty covers business news and consumer issues. Got a tip, comment or story idea? Contact him anytime: Email | Twitter | Facebook | 315-470-3148