Once a vehicle drives under one of the cashless gantries, the lights and cameras will capture each and every license plate. Motorists who don’t have an E-ZPass will eventually get a bill in the mail.
“The bill in the mail would come approximately 30 days later. The E-ZPass transaction will be posting as normal. People from out-of-state or infrequent customers, we’ll send the bill in Nebraska or Oklahoma or whatever state, we’re all set to do that,” says Eric Christensen, Deputy Director of Operations of the NYS Thruway Authority. Motorists could face penalties if they don’t pay the bill.
At the time cashless tolling goes live, cash will no longer be accepted as a form of payment at toll booths and printed toll tickets will not be handed out. In-person interaction with the toll booth collectors will be a thing of the past. About 900 toll workers will be losing their jobs.
Terrie Fyvie is Toll Plaza Manager for the NYS Thruway Authority. Prior, she worked as a toll booth collector. All together, she has been working for the NYS Thruway Authority for 35 years and now she’s retiring. “It’s time. It’s moving forward, and we all knew this was coming,” says Fyvie. She says it’s a bittersweet feeling.
“I have been receiving phone calls and text messages pretty much all day with everybody going over different things that have happened in the toll booths. I am sad to see it end. We all knew this was coming, but now the reality has finally set in for most people,” says Fyvie.
Terrie works at the New York State Thruway Interchange/Exit 26 on I-90. She says her employees either have second jobs or they’re heading back to school. She mentioned many of the toll booth collectors have been preparing for this. Many of Terrie’s family members have worked for the NYS Thruway Authority. She also calls her coworkers family too.
Thruway Authority Executive Director Matthew Driscoll issued the following statement:
At 1 a.m. Saturday, the New York State Thruway successfully converted to an entirely cashless tolling system. This is a historic moment for transportation in New York State. Motorists will now drive under American-made steel gantries with state-of the art sensors and cameras that read E-ZPass tags and capture license plate images, so vehicles no longer have to stop to pay the toll. In the coming months, drivers will continue to travel through existing toll lanes at reduced speeds without stopping until the toll booths are removed and road reconfigurations are complete. Drivers are strongly urged to slow down and use caution around the toll plazas during this time, as it will be an active construction zone. In 2021, after all of the toll plazas are removed, drivers will have a completely unobstructed ride on the 570-mile system. I want to thank all toll collectors, both past and present, who have served as the backbone of the Thruway Authority since the first tolls were collected in 1954. Their hard work and dedication serving customers has made the Thruway what it is today.
Rates will remain the same during the new cashless system, however, they may increase come by January 1st, 2021. NYS Thruway Authority officials encourage motorists to join the E-ZPass program.
Once the cashless system is up and running, the next phase is to remove all the toll plazas. Officials say to drive with caution as construction crews will on out on the Thruway during the next coming weeks.