Has it really been 20 years of E-ZPass?
It seems like yesterday when commuters paid their Tappan Zee Bridge tolls with a ticket or tokens on the Garden State Parkway.
But it’s true, the New York State Thruway Authority launched the single-tag electronic toll collection technology in the northeast in August 1993. In fact, the authority tested and worked out the kinks of its system at the then-Spring Valley toll barrier on the Thruway.
The Thruway is celebrating its hallmark role with E-ZPass and provided some interesting statistics.
- There is an average of 5.4 E-ZPass trips on the Thruway every second of every day.
- Thruway motorists have made an estimated 2.2 billion trips using E-ZPass these past two decades.
- Some $4.6 billion in toll revenues has been collected with E-ZPass since its launch, saving E-ZPass customers more than $177 million in discounts.
Today, E-ZPass is accepted in 15 states: New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maine, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois.
“Thanks to E-ZPass, New York Thruway travelers have saved an enormous amount of time and money over the past two decades,” Thruway Authority Chairman Howard P. Milstein said in a press release. “Furthermore, Thruway’s innovation has spread throughout the eastern United States and has benefited many millions of drivers.”
Besides the Thruway Authority, New Yorkers in our area can also set up E-ZPass accounts with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority or the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
All-electronic tolling is the future, as paying by cash is being replaced with license plate readers that send drivers a bill in the mail or online.
Cashless tolling is already being tested by the MTA on the Henry Hudson Bridge in the Bronx.
And as soon as next year, tolls for the Tappan Zee Bridge will be collected electronically in Rockland while the new crossing is built. The tolls are expected to return to Tarrytown in 2018, where it’s likely the tolls will be exclusively paid using E-ZPass or license plate readers.