E-ZPass Gates Come Off As New Tolling Pilot Begins At Henry Hudson Bridge

<p>A pilot program testing gateless and cashless operations at the Henry Hudson Bridge is underway.</p><p>If all goes according to plan in the gateless phase of the project, by next year, the Henry Hudson Bridge will become the first cashless bridge in the country, helping to reduce travel time for drivers and expenses for the MTA.</p> <p>"There's a better way to collect tolls in the 21st century, and it's called all-electronic tolling," MTA Chairman and CEO Jay H. Walder said. "By removing the gate arms, we begin the process of ushering in this new era in toll collection."</p><p>A decision on whether to expand either the gateless or cashless operations at other MTA crossings will be made after the pilot has ended. Currently Denver, Texas and Florida operate cashless systems in a highway environment. In the New York region, several tolling authorities operate mixed cash and electronic systems but none are totally cashless.</p><p>Three gateless <strong>E-ZPass Only</strong> and three <strong>Cash Only</strong> lanes will be available in each direction. During the gateless phase of the pilot, new state-of-the-art cameras, fixed within the existing toll booths, and back office operations will be tested.</p><p><div class="frame" style="position:relative; width:400px; float:right; padding-left:10px; padding-bottom: 6px; padding-top:6px;"><img src="/sites/default/files/archive/imgs/HHB_armremove.jpg" style="padding-bottom:6px;"><br /><span style="font-size:11px;">MTA Chairman and CEO Jay Walder (3rd from right) removes E-ZPass gate arm at kickoff of gateless tolling pilot at Henry Hudson Bridge. From left to right: MTA Bridges and Tunnels Jim Ferrara, MTA Board Member Mark D. Lebow, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, City Councilman James Vacca, Jay Walder, Assemblyman Guillermo Linares, and Traffic and Transportation Chairman of Bronx CB8 Dan Padernacht.</span></div>"This pilot will significantly change our approach to toll collection," said MTA Bridges and Tunnels President Jim Ferrara. He said customers will notice the difference right away because they will not have to come to a stop and wait for gate arms to lift. "Our message to E-ZPass customers at the Henry Hudson is simple," he said, "Don't stop, keep moving!"</p><p>The 74-year-old Henry Hudson Bridge, linking the Inwood section of Manhattan to the Riverdale section of the Bronx, was chosen for the pilot because of its favorable plaza configuration, its high E-ZPass market share -; 85 percent during the week -- and because there is no commercial traffic.</p><p>Cash will continue to be collected as usual during the gateless phase and cash customers must use the <strong>Cash Only</strong> lanes. Drivers who use <strong>E-ZPass Only</strong> lanes without a tag during the gateless phase will receive a $50 toll violation in the mail. During the cashless phase next year, drivers without an E-ZPass will be mailed an invoice at a higher, yet to be determined, toll rate than E-ZPass drivers.</p><p>To avoid violation notices, motorists are urged to secure their E-ZPass tags on their windshields and register the license plates of any car that regularly uses tags on their account by calling 1-800-333-TOLL or visiting <a href="http://www.ezpassny.com">www.ezpassny.com</a>.</p><p>In 2010, some 23 million vehicles used the Henry Hudson Bridge.</p><br /><br /><p><object width="390" height="244"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/JgeNhF5znZY?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/JgeNhF5znZY?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="390" height="244"></embed></object></p>