MTAB&T embraces all-electronic toll conversion in report to customers
By Peter Samuel
A new report to customers by New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (NYMTA) is mostly devoted to what's being done to make the subways and buses run better but there are couple of pages embracing all-electronic tolling at the City's bridges and tunnels. The report is titled "Making every dollar count" Agenda 2011." There's a link to the full report at the bottom.
"Tollbooths waste time, cause unnecessary traffic, contribute to pollution and are expensive to operate. There's a better way to collect tolls in the 21st century, and it's called all-electronic tolling (AET). Drivers on AET facilities don't get stuck in traffic waiting to pay a fare--they just drive. It's that simple. No toll booths, no stopping, no traffic. Drivers pay their toll using E-ZPass, or a high-tech camera registers the license plate for billing.
"AET is in place on facilities in our region and around the world, but has never been implemented in the type of high-volume, urban environment characteristic of the MTA's seven bridges and two tunnels. We're not letting that slow us down. In fact, our goal today is to bring AET to all of the MTA's bridges and tunnels..." (p11)
The report details the transition to AET/cashless at the Henry Hudson Bridge toll plaza, which removed gates last month and plans to go cashless next year. MTA will introduce an E-ZPass reload card this summer to allow cash to be used to top-up E-ZPass transponder accounts. They say there will be 2,000 retail facilities and kiosks where the cash reloads can be done.
The report says that the groundwork for AET is being laid at other facilities citing removal of unused toll booths at the Verrazano Narrows Bridge.
Then: "We're not stopping at the Henry Hudson....If everything goes well in our AET pilot on the Henry Hudson, we'll be working to bring this revolutionary tolling system to all our bridges and tunnels-- promising much more than an end to tollbooth traffic. If we can implement this technology across all of our facilities, AET could save hundreds of millions of dollars a year, creating a win-win for taxpayers and the MTA." (p12)