Ahead: Cashless Thruway tolls by end of 2020

The New York State Thruway Authority Board of Directors approved the selection of the Design-Build team that will install cashless tolling on the Thruway by the end of 2020.

The $355.3 million investment will transform the Thruway system for the approximately 267 million motorists that travel the highway each year, according to a release from the governor’s office.

Cashless Tolling Constructors, LLC submitted the Best Value proposal, which will be submitted to the New York State Comptroller’s Office for approval.

Cashless tolling is already operational at the Thruway’s fixed-price barriers in the lower Hudson Valley region and the Grand Island Bridges in western New York.

In this final phase, crews with Cashless Tolling Constructors, LLC, will convert the Thruway’s ticketed system to cashless tolling. The ticketed system consists of approximately 450 miles of roadway between exits 15 (Woodbury) and exit 61 (Ripley - Pennsylvania Line) as well as exits B1 - B3 (Berkshire Spur).

In 2018, more than 158 million vehicles traveled on the ticketed system, accounting for more than 6.2 billion miles traveled.

Construction is scheduled to begin across the Thruway system in late summer or early fall with the installation of gantries and cashless tolling equipment. When it is operational on the Thruway’s ticketed system, motorists will drive under gantries with sensors and cameras that read E-ZPass tags and take license-plate images so vehicles no longer have to stop to pay tolls.

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. Customers who pay using Tolls By Mail will pay the same toll rate previously paid by cash customers, and E-ZPass customers with New York accounts will continue to receive a 5-percent discount.

As part of the Design Build project requirements, the switchover to cashless tolling will take place by the end of 2020 at 52 Thruway interchanges and toll barriers.

Following the switchover, the existing toll plazas and barriers will be removed in phases. During the construction 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 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 miles per hour.

In preparation for cashless tolling system-wide by the end of 2020, the New York State Thruway Authority reminds all drivers that New York State law requires residents to keep their address current with the Department of Motor Vehicles to ensure bills are mailed to the proper owner. Drivers must update their address with the DMV within 10 days of moving. Drivers may update their address with the DMV by going to dmv.ny.gov.

E-ZPass tags are sold at more than 800 locations across that state including Thruway Service Areas, select cash toll lanes, local grocery and convenience stores and municipal locations, New York State DMVs, and online. To find a retailer near you, go to thruway.ny.gov/getezpass.

For comprehensive 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.

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