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Thruway Authority offers tips for motorists in Thanksgiving travel week


Mon, Nov 23rd 2020 01:00 pm

Cashless tolling is now live

If one must travel, drivers encouraged to download new TollsNY mobile app for easier access to E-ZPass & tolls by mail billing information

Traffic shifts in effect at toll plazas; speed limit posted at 20 mph during tollbooth removal

The New York State Thruway Authority offered tips and advice for drivers who must travel this Thanksgiving holiday week, as cashless tolling is now live on the thruway’s ticketed system. The historic transition took place at approximately 1 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 14.

Now that cashless tolling is live on the entire 570-mile thruway system, drivers no longer stop at a tollbooth to pay a toll, and cash is no longer accepted at any tolling location. Instead, drivers are experiencing nonstop travel under American-made steel gantries located at 58 tolling points along the ticketed system outfitted with more than 2,000 state-of-the-art cameras, and seven of the thruway’s fixed-price barriers in the lower Hudson Valley and Western New York regions.

Vehicles with E-ZPass tags are charged the same way they always have been. Vehicles without E-ZPass tags have their license plate image captured and a toll bill mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle via tolls by mail. Non E-ZPass customers have a number of options to pay, including by mail, over the phone, online and via the TollsNY app. Customers who dial **826 from most mobile devices will receive a text message with a link to the tolls by mail website, and information on how to pay their toll bill.

Cashless Tolling Billing Segments

The thruway’s toll rate structure did not change with the conversion to cashless tolling. There are, however, some slight changes to the way transactions will be displayed on E-ZPass statements and tolls by mail invoices. The thruway ticketed system has been divided into 14 segments: six start/end segments (brown) and eight fixed toll segments (green). In the illustration above, the brown and green highway gantries represent the tolling segments. These brown and green highway gantries are located between exits. The blue gantries are located on the entry/exit ramps of the thruway. When a driver travels through more than one of these segments, multiple transactions will appear on their statement.

See a sample tolls by mail bill HERE.

Multiple Options to Pay Tolls

Motorists are encouraged to sign up for E-ZPass, the easiest and quickest way to pay tolls on the New York state thruway. All drivers, regardless of residency, can sign up for a New York E-ZPass account at E-ZPassNY.com or can purchase an E-ZPass On-the-Go tag at 26 thruway service areas systemwide, at more than 800 locations across the state (including participating grocery and convenience stores and government offices, DMV offices and AAA retail stores).

At the end of 2019, there were more than 6.6 million NY E-ZPass accountholders and 12 million tags accounting for more than 211 million trips on the thruway.

The New York State Thruway Authority said current E-ZPass accountholders should follow these important tips to make paying even easier:

√ Keep Account Updated: Update all changes of payment method, address, license plates, vehicles, phone and email. Timely and accurate account updates will help ensure an E-ZPass account is always up to date and one won't experience lapses in service. One can make many account updates via the web at e-zpassNY.com, or may contact customer service at 1-800-333-TOLL (8655) for assistance.

√ Mount Tag Properly: Always install a tag on the windshield according to directions. Unless an E-ZPass tag is installed exactly as shown, it may not be "read.” Placing the tag on the sun visor, dashboard, seat, or in one’s hand may work sometimes, but will not work all of the time. Install an E-ZPass tag exactly as shown on the instructions that come with the tag. Tags installed incorrectly or not at all may cause unnecessary toll evasion violations. One can request new E-ZPass mounting strips for free at e-zpassny.com.

√ Sign Up for Mobile Text Alerts: With the removal of tollbooths, customers will no longer see the driver feedback signs showing their E-ZPass account has a low balance. Mobile alerts notify customers of low balances, successful replenishments, expiring payment methods, and more. Sign up by logging into an account and selecting “Account Profile.”

√ Maintain Positive Account Balance: The best way to ensure an account is always adequately funded is to sign up for credit card “automatic replenishment.” One’s card will be charged and their account replenished each time their prepaid toll balance goes below a selected threshold. Customers can sign up for E-ZPass discount plans such as pay per trip, which is linked to a bank account, not a credit card, and pays tolls incurred once per day and a prepaid E-ZPass account balance is not required.

√ Closely monitor e-mail alerts: At no cost to customers, one can receive an E-ZPass account statement monthly via email. Make sure an account is updated with a valid email address and select email as the method of choice. Be aware that email settings may direct E-ZPass email alerts into spam/junk folders.

√ Tolls by Mail: Customers without E-ZPass tags have their license plate image captured and a toll bill mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle via tolls by mail. Non E-ZPass customers have a number of options to pay, including by mail, over the phone, online and via the new TollsNY app. Customers can also dial **826 from most mobile devices and receive a text message with a link to the tolls by mail website and information on how to pay their toll bill.

Toll Booth Removal

Drivers should expect traffic shifts or new traffic patterns and increased construction activities near all toll plazas while they are removed. Motorists should use caution while driving in these areas, as they will be active construction zones with 20 mph posted speed limits through the tollbooths.

Do not stop in any toll lane. Traffic shifts are required until an entire plaza is removed, and the road is reconfigured for highway-speed, open-road tolling. Examples of traffic shifts can be found HERE

People can download the new Thruway Authority mobile app, which includes: real-time, thruway-specific traffic and navigation assistance, Thruway Service area locator, toll calculator and roadside assistance.

Motorists can sign up for TRANSAlert emails regarding thruway traffic conditions at http://wwwapps.thruway.ny.gov/tas/.

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