Cashless tolling project on I-90 "66 percent done"

NYS still ready to finish project by end of 2020

Mike Baggerman
July 01, 2020 - 3:00 am

The cashless toll gantry beyond the South Grand Island Bridge on the 190-N (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) – The New York State Thruway Authority is beyond the halfway mark of finishing its cashless tolling project along the entire I-90 corridor.

Thruway Authority Executive Director Matt Driscoll described the project as being “66 percent done.”

“There’s 70 gantries,” he said. “There’s 16 gantries in the Buffalo Division.”

Gantries have been installed near the Lackawanna and Williamsville tolls, though they are not functional as of yet. There are also cashless tolling gantries at other exits along I-90, though some places like the Silver Creek exit, did not have them installed yet.

“We expect all of the work to be completed by the end of this year,” Driscoll said. “When I say ‘go live’, it means we will convert from a ticketed system to an all-electronic toll system by the end of this year.”

Driscoll said there will not be a phased approach where certain areas will go live before others. He said they will all go live at once because all of the gantries have to work in unison from Buffalo to Albany and other areas.

New York State implemented emergency tolling procedures in March due to the pandemic. Drivers without an EZ-Pass did not receive a toll ticket and were, instead, asked to give their license plate information when they exited the thruway. Many residents have not received a bill yet for those tolls from March 22 to June 3.

“Potentially as early as this week they’ll be going out,” Driscoll said of the tolls. “They will not have any late fees. There’s no fees associated with that. It’s simply only the toll amount that they indicated where they got on at when they got off.”

Driscoll said there are no immediate plans to send unpaid tolls during the emergency procedures to collection agencies.

Approximately 1,200 part-time toll collectors will lose their jobs once the state completes its change to cashless tolling.

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