New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has announced that it will implement All-Electronic Tolling (AET) on the Henry Hudson Bridge, beginning on November 10. The bridge, which connects northern Manhattan and the Bronx, has been testing the AET system as part of a pilot program. The bridge was chosen for the pilot because: 87.5% of drivers on the crossing already use E-ZPass transponders; trucks are not allowed on it; and there are no entrance or exit ramps near the toll plaza. The agency will decide whether to expand the AET to other MTA-controlled crossings, which includes the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel and the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, after it fully analyzes data from the pilot program and completes an environmental impact study.
The switch to cashless tolling is the last phase of a pilot program that was announced two years ago and previously saw the removal of toll gates at the Henry Hudson Bridge. Drivers who have an E-ZPass account will continue to pay a discounted toll. Drivers without a pass will automatically be mailed a bill based on evidence taken from the bridge’s ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Registration) cameras.
“We are excited about this project,” said Jim Ferrara, bridges and tunnels president for the MTA. “It’s good for us, because it’s the most efficient way to collect tolls, good for drivers because it provides for seamless travel, and good for the environment because it reduces vehicle emissions.” MTA chairman, Joseph Lhota, noted, “All-electric tolling is another example of the innovative ways we are using technology to make travel easier and more convenient. By upgrading to 21st century technology, the MTA is catching up with the best tolling practices used by other agencies around the world. The cashless phase will last about a year; then we will decide whether to expand it to our other crossings.”
10 October 2012
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