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Driscoll: EZ-Pass is cost-effective way to travel Grand Island

Guest Editorial

Mon, Apr 9th 2018 12:15 pm
Guest Editorial
By Matthew J. Driscoll
Thruway Authority Acting Executive Director
Shortly after midnight Friday morning, March 30, at the direction of Gov. Cuomo, the Thruway Authority successfully flipped the switch on cashless tolling at the Grand Island Bridges. It was a historic occasion, as Grand Island successfully became the Thruway Authority's second cashless tolling location across its 570-mile system, the first in upstate New York.
Approximately 23.5 million vehicles will travel through the state-of-the-art gantries each year, or 64,000 vehicles a day on average. Both are located on Grand Island, which is considered the gateway to top destinations such as Niagara Falls.
Cashless tolling is proven to improve traffic flow, reduce accidents and reduce congestion-related emissions by eliminating the need to stop at a toll booth. After a full year into cashless tolling, our transportation partners at the MTA in downstate New York reported drivers saved 3.4 million hours of travel time, fuel consumption was reduced by 1.6 billion gallons and carbon emissions decreased by more than 15,000 tons. Those numbers will continue to grow as Gov. Cuomo announced in his 2018 State of the State address that the Thruway Authority will transition to cashless tolling system-wide by the end of 2020.
As we continue the evolution to a superhighway of the 21st century, I encourage all motorists to sign up for E-ZPass, which saves time and money. E-ZPass On-the-Go tags can be purchased at more than 800 retail locations across the state, including select local grocery and convenience stores, and government offices as well as select cash toll lanes across the entire Thruway system.
E-ZPass New York offers a 5 percent discount along the entire 570-mile New York State Thruway. There are also a variety of discount plans and payment options to fit the needs of every motorist, including a Grand Island resident plan and commuter plan, which can save motorists hundreds of dollars each year for frequent travelers of the Grand Island crossings. Along with the traditional payment plan that auto-replenishes when a customer's account goes below a certain threshold, additional plans include the Pay Per Trip plan, which is linked to a bank account, not a credit card, and pays all the tolls incurred once per day.
For customers who already benefit from E-ZPass, we urge you to sign up for mobile alerts to get automatic notifications about your E-ZPass accounts. Customers who opt into the alerts will receive important notifications such as low account balance, account payment notifications, changes in your replenishment amounts, or notice of credit card expiration. To sign up, go to www.e-zpassny.com, click on "Account Profile" and update the settings in the "Account Holder Information" section.
Our goal is to have everyone taking advantage of the benefits of E-ZPass, which is the easiest way to pay tolls. With the expansion of cashless tolling system-wide in 2020, I encourage you to join the millions already taking advantage of the great benefits by signing up today at www.e-zpassny.com.
Under Gov. Cuomo's leadership, we are reimagining and transforming New York's transportation infrastructure to ensure it keeps up with 21st century demands, and cashless tolling is a critical part of that effort as we continue to improve the driver experience for decades to come.

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