You are reading

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

queens-midtown-tunnel-queens-plaza-entrance

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.

email the author: [email protected]

25 Comments

Click for Comments 
rikki

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

Reply
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.

Reply
rikki

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.

Reply
Bashir

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.

Reply
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

Reply
MRLIC

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.

Reply
MRLIC

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.

Reply
MRLIC

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.

Reply
MRLIC

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.

Reply
brooklynmc

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.

Reply
brooklynmc

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.

Reply
Anonymous

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.

Anonymous

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.

Reply
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?

Reply
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.

Reply

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Gunman who fired shots at the Ravenswood Houses in Long Island City remains at large: NYPD

Police from the 114th Precinct in Astoria and PSA 9 are continuing their search for a gunman who allegedly opened fire at the Ravenswood Houses in Long Island City last month.

The incident occurred during the early morning hours of Wednesday, Jan. 18, when officers responded to a 911 call and a ShotSpotter activation for multiple shots fired at 21-25 35 Ave. at the Ravenswood Houses NYCHA complex just after 2 a.m., according to authorities.

Popular places where you can watch the Super Bowl in Queens

Feb. 2, 2023 By Tammy Scileppi

Hey, football fans! Game time is fast approaching, and across the city and here in Queens, you can feel the excitement brewing as the two teams prepare to take the field on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 12. So, kick back and watch the big game, and don’t miss Rihanna’s exciting performance during halftime. 

Borough president hears from community members on budget needs throughout Queens

During a two-day public hearing on the mayor’s 2024 preliminary budget, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. listened to testimonies from 14 community board representatives, community stakeholders and members of the public on where the money should be spent in Queens. 

The public hearings were held both in-person and via Zoom on Monday, Jan. 30, and Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Queens Borough Hall. The testimonials will be used to develop the Queens Borough Board’s FY24 preliminary budget priorities in the coming weeks. 

‘He didn’t deserve to die’: Borough President Richards leads emotional candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards held a candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols outside Queens Borough Hall Monday, Jan. 30 after Nichols’ death at the hands of police officers in Memphis, Tenn., made national headlines for the brutality in which the officers beat him.

Almost immediately after news broke about Nichols’ death, the Memphis police officers who beat him to death were fired and charged with murder. The police department released the body cam footage of the fatal beating on Jan. 27, but many people, including some at the vigil, have refused to watch it due to its extremely graphic nature.

Long Island City teen sentenced in fatal shooting of ‘beloved’ school teacher at Queensbridge Houses in 2020: DA

A Long Island City man on Friday, Jan. 28, was sentenced to 19 years in prison for the 2020 fatal shooting of a public school social studies teacher who was out walking his dog when he was caught in the crossfire during a confrontation between gang rivals in broad daylight, just blocks from his home, according to Queens District Attorney’s office.

Ike Ford, 19, of 12th Street, in Long Island City, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the first degree before Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Holder. The teacher, George Rosa, 53, was shot in his abdomen by a stray bullet fired by Ford, who was just 17 years old at the time of the shooting but was sentenced as an adult given the severity of the crime, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.