Cashless tolls take effect on New York State Thruway

NEW YORK -- Get your E-Z Pass ready as the New York State Thruway is now completely cashless with its tolls.

The highway's 450-mile, ticketed toll system will be converted to electronic collection during the overnight hours Friday into Saturday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. The switch will happen simultaneously at 58 tolling locations, he said.

The rest of the Thruway system already stopped accepting cash payments. Cuomo said the Thruway is moving to full cashless tolling more than a month ahead of schedule. He made the conversion a goal in his 2018 State of the State address.

Motorists who have E-ZPass device will have tolls charged to them automatically. If they don't, they will get a bill in the mail. A new mobile phone app dubbed TollsNY is being made available to help people manage their E-ZPass accounts and toll invoices.

The conversion to cashless tolling involved the construction over the roadway and exit ramps of steel gantries outfitted with electronic collection technology. The project cost $355 million, Cuomo said. Toll plazas will be removed starting next year.

The transition means an end to the job of Thruway toll taker, the men and women who sat in booths collecting tickets and cash from motorists, and sometimes dispensing helpful directions.

The Thruway Authority said 12,000 people have held that job since 1954.

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