For The Daily News
ALBANY — Tolls on the New York State Thruway will be completely cashless starting in November, state Thruway Authority Public Information Officer Jonathan Dougherty said Tuesday.
The Thruway Authority is estimating the switch to cashless tolling will begin sometime in mid-November, but an exact date will not be known until all the testing is completed on the new equipment, Dougherty said.
Motorists who have E-ZPass will not see any changes. For vehicles without E-ZPass, cameras will take a picture of the license plate when the vehicle passes under the gantries and a toll bill will be mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle, Dougherty said.
A proposal to increase tolls by 30% for vehicles without E-ZPass, including a $2 postal surcharge, will be voted on by the Thruway Board of Directors at its next meeting Dec. 1, and if approved, would go into effect in January, Dougherty said.
More than 1,200 toll collectors across the 570-mile system will be affected.
A number of toll collectors have chosen to retire, Dougherty said.
Over the last year, 70 steel gantries have been installed at 58 tolling plazas on the Thruway. They will replace the existing toll plazas, which are scheduled to be removed in the next phase of the project.
The toll plazas will be removed in higher traffic areas first.
The Thruway Authority is encouraging motorists to sign up for E-ZPass, which is available online at thruway.ny.gov/ezpass.
Conversion to cashless tolling marks the end of an era for the Thruway Authority as cash toll collection ends after 66 years of operation, Dougherty said.