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MTA to scrap cash-toll at Queens Midtown Tunnel starting January


Dec. 7, 2016 By Hannah Wulkan

Drivers who use the Queens Midtown Tunnel will no longer be able to pay the toll in cash beginning in January, according to the MTA.

The change to cashless tolls is part of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s plan to make all city bridges and tunnels cash free by the end of 2017 in an effort to improve traffic flow and decrease emissions.

The new system, which will not affect E-Z Pass holders, will see gantries installed over the roadway with cameras and sensors taking the place of tolling booths. The cameras will photograph each license plate and a bill will be sent to the home of the registered owner of the vehicle.

Those drivers who don’t pay the bill will be fined, and if multiple bills get ignored, they will be referred to a collection agency, according to Christopher McKniff, a MTA spokesman said.

The city has partnered with out-of-state DMVs to ensure bills get sent to non-New York drivers, said McKniff.

The toll price for the tunnel will remain the same for the time being, $5.45 for E-Z Pass holders, and $8 for those without passes. However the current prices are under review, and could go up in the future, McKniff said.

The old toll booths will be taken out sometime after the cashless system kicks off, McKniff said.

The governor argues that automatic tolling will not only decrease traffic congestion and save drivers time, but will also be good for the environment. According to the Governor’s office, the new system will conserve about a million gallons of gas and save $2.3 million each year.

Both MTA tunnels, the other being the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, will switch over to the cash-free system in January, and all MTA bridges will follow suit by the end of 2017 under Cuomo’s plan.

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just wondering has it made life easier with fewer backups? I dont live near the LIE and use the tunnel only in an emergency. I dont mind a little backup on the QB

Pedro Valdez Rivera Jr.

Catch-22: Great for improving vehicular speeds and the environment; bad for outgoing, unionized workers who were working at toll booths, with a possible toll cheat increases on the horizon.


you will still have 4 lanes merging into 2 coming into the city….i predict accidents by people hitting the entrance wall to the tunnel,

playing chicken ….my car is cheaper than yours!!!!!!

better keep tow trucks in the center median ready to go.


It’s a a great idea. But of course every upgrade has it’s ups and downs. It’s obvious they’re saving plenty of $$ on toll employees and extra bridge-N-tunnel officers.
More gas mileage fir drivers. Unfortunately jobs will b cut but not a great expense.

Richie T

“I was not the person driving the car, I am NOT legally responsible to pay the toll”
Sue me!!!, good luck, a$$-0


Continued…..I also think if everyone learned to code just as computer programming is now( a overcrowded job market) there will be hundreds of people all going for 1 or 2 jobs at every companty . There needs to be a diverse market with different opportunities for all. Some people don’t like to code or program etc… or are not made for it.Too much demand for computers and robots and people will get lazy,more than they are now.


Anon, I stand corrected. I wasn’t exactly sure. Still cashless tolls need collection agents to obtain the money people don’t pay. Agents get paid. Why not just keep the toll agents? Less human agents also means less eyeballs for security who are actually on the scene. Cameras may show you what’s happening but can’t stop it.


I think these cashless tolls are just to save money on toll takers. Will there be facial recognition cameras at these locations? The MTA is owed millions on I believe the Alexander Hamilton Bridge where this system is in place. Tracking all those non-payers down will cost money. BAD IDEA all around. Leave some cash tolls around.


I know the collection agency will be busy as drivers (especially out of state drivers) will not care, as they may never come back this way. A bridge already using cashless tolls (I believe the Alexander Hamilton Bridge) is owed a few million by drivers not paying. I also believe security will be lessened by having less employees around. Will the cameras also have face recognition? Invasion of privacy is very possible here.


I just read an article about driver-less cars, another about cashier-less grocery stores and now about cashless tolls. Last week I read about waiter-less restaurants. Just where are people going to work? I find all this very scary.


Ha ha. Actually are coders all come from Coast Rica. I am a graphic designer and I have zero interest in coding. Coding is not for everyone. Super boring work.


Coders are today’s equivalent of 1960s production line employees, except that coders are eating pot noodles in their $3,000 studio apartments while manufacturing employees had 4-bedroom houses, free health insurance, pensions for life and sent their kids to college for nothing.


Or maybe it’s just about cutting costs and speeding traffic through the tunnel. I’m up on Snowden but down on nitwits who refuse to face the 21st century.

Astoria Resident

I think Styn was speaking of “big brother” hence the 1984 reference. When you pay cash, anywhere, you can maintain anonymity. Now our credit card purchases tells our story. (It’s not very sophisticated to call strangers with an differing opinion a nitwit). What’s up with that?

Thomas Torres

Hey Styn! My reaction: I think the Toll by Mail is a good decision. Very helpful because you don’t have to wait in traffic to pay a toll, that causes traffic jams and a lot of other inconveniences. However, I believe the MTA should place signs advising drivers off the change so they expect the bill. Thank you.


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