Technology Taking Over: Cashless Tolls on the Rise in New York State Starting With Verrazano-Narrows Bridge

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Cashless tolls in New York will eliminate traffic jams as we know it and illuminate our beautiful city even more.   

It’s official! Starting July 8, 2017, Verrazano-Narrows bridge will no longer have attendants that will be physically handling your cash transactions when going over the bridge. An announcement made by Governor Cuomo, advises the public that starting today, the well known Verrazano Bridge will no longer accept cash.  Making it mandatory for the public to buy an already in place E-ZPass tag for those commuters going over the bridge daily.

These latest New York State projects taking affect starting today, will leave some people unsure of how they feel about it.

Governor Cuomo is also encouraging all commuters living in New York to sign up for an E-ZPass to save on tolls across the state. The savings can including as much as 30 to 50 percent at bridges and tunnels in New York City. A considerable difference when traveling over the bridge twice a day, five days a week. A huge monthly savings for many.

The transition of human attendants to computer based systems that have been put into play, are suggested to eventually decrease traffic in major cities. It is predicted to eliminate congestion in New York and improve over all commuter travel experience. Many are praising this new transition but not all.  Citizens all over, not only in New York are concerned for fear of eventually being replaced by technology and losing their jobs in the near future. Especially those individuals already working in this industry.

 A very realistic concern as we see it all over the city, state and practically half the country.  Super Markets are placing self check out lanes, cashiers are no longer required.  Most New York City pharmacy franchises operates at least one self check out lane and they are encouraged by the staff.  Hospitals installing self help kiosks and eliminating human jobs. A great cost effective plan for the company but doesn’t help the citizens at all.

Many conspiracy theorists believe this is just another way for the government to track our every move. Perhaps it is their biggest reason for this update to our bridges and tolls, but will it truly save us from the city traffic jams and unpleasantness of driving in New York? We’ll have to wait and see.

The conversion may have started with Verrazano-Narrows bridge but will affect Throgs Neck Bridge which will go cashless in September 2017. It will also go into affect for the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge in October 2017 so expect big changes come fall 2017.

Here is a list of suggested benefits once the conversion takes place and cashless tolls are installed citywide: 

Drivers with an E-ZPass tag will be automatically charged so there’s never a reason to worry that your E-ZPass doesn’t have sufficient funds.

Drivers without the E-ZPass will have their license plates recorded and the registered owner of the vehicle will be billed. Customers who do not pay this fee will be subject to a violation fee in addition to the toll.  It will follow with registration suspension and other actions that will eventually cost more than the actually toll. The fees could go up to as much as $100.00 if the fees are not paid timely. The bills will be available for customers to submit their payment online using all forms of payment options.

Drivers will be less distracted going over the bridge by avoiding to look for the E-ZPass that’s not mounted properly on their car. They will also no longer need to waive the E-ZPass to ensure they are properly charged and allowed to pass through. The device will automatically get scanned once the car passes causing zero confusion.

Cashless tolls will save the commuters approximately 21 hours of drive time a year. That’s time and money.

According to PIX11 news, “It will reduces emissions and significantly decreases the amount of fuel burned by drivers, who will no longer have to stop and wait to pay tolls. This will conserve approximately one million gallons of fuel and save $2.3 million each year.” A cost effective decision that will save the state millions of dollars in the long run. It would be great to see them allocate the money they saved to something that is environment, community, Veteran, Citizen friendly

If you purchase the E-ZPass tag for $30.00, it comes with $20.00 in credit which can be used at any New York toll. If you decide to use your credit card for automatic payment, the additional $10.00 fee is waived so you basically get the tag for free.

There are many changes coming to New York State that will affect commuters in a huge way.  There are plans to strengthen the state’s bridges and tunnels as well as enhance their beauty yesterday, releasing a proposal called, “Reimagining New York’s Crossings.” Among the ideas: Replacing toll plazas with dramatic “veils” and chainmail “wave” structures, adding storm and earthquake protections, and illuminating bridges.

For any additional information about this new cashless tolls that are hitting every bridge in New York State, please call 1-800-333-8655 (TOLL).

By: Ida L.

Source(s) & Images:

Cashless tolling on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to start July 8

http://gothamist.com/2016/10/06/ny_bridges_tolls_light_art.php#photo-1

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HNzHyE68ek

http://gothamist.com

 

 

 

 

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