Skip to main content

Port Authority of NY/NJ to go all electronic?

From the News-Journal of Wilmington, DE, there was a recent story about how the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) is considering removing traditional toll booths from their toll facilities and gravitating towards electronic toll collection. This would be put in effect to improve traffic flow into New York City, as all Port Authority tolls are levied into traffic driving eastbound into New York City. The last toll booths that were removed in the New York City area were some of the toll booths at the Spring Valley Toll Barrier on the New York Thruway (in Rockland County) and the elimination of a 25 cent toll on the Hutchinson River Parkway at the Bronx-Westchester County line near New Rochelle. This took place about 15 years ago.

The authority now uses a mix of electronic toll collection and staffed toll booths where drivers can pay with cash at its bridges and tunnels that span between New York City and New Jersey. Under an all-electronic tolling system, the authority would use cameras to record the license plates and send bills to motorists who do not have E-ZPass accounts. This practice is currently used in the collection of tolls on the ETR 407 in metropolitan Toronto.

One feature of the toll changes could be the implementation of on-peak and off-peak toll pricing for all drivers. Currently, passenger car drivers paying cash are charged $6 at all times. Those with E-ZPass pay $5 during peak times and a $4 off-peak toll is charged at other times. There is currently no word on how the tolls would change with electronic tolling.

High speed, all-electronic tolling, or "open road tolling" could work very well, in theory. It will help the traffic flow by diminishing and possibly eliminating some bottlenecks that lead towards toll booths. Open road tolling is currently being implemented at various toll facilities along the New York Thruway in Orange and Rockland Counties. It is also use along the various tollways in the Chicago area and on the DE 1 Turnpike in Delaware, and based upon my experiences driving around Chicagoland and Delaware, it seems to work very well. The open road tolling in question is for cars that have an E-ZPass or I-Pass device, the rest of the people are expected to pay their toll at a booth.

The downside to going all-electronic and demolishing the toll booths would be the collection of tolls to people who do not have electronic toll collection devices in their car. The Port Authority states that they would send bills to those people, but how honest will people be with paying. Surely, there will be many people who will promptly pay their bills, but others may disregard the bills. The Port Authority could enlist the help of collection agencies in collecting tolls (with interest) to delinquent persons. How will statements be sent? Will it be by the toll, or will it become a monthly affair?

I like the idea of all-electronic tolling, but I would prefer a mix of open road tolling and traditional toll booths. But knowing the lack of open space around the bridge and tunnel toll facilities around the New York City area, this may be the best way to go about things in order to alleviate traffic jams.

http://tinyurl.com/ywm2ap - News Journal (Wilmington, DE)

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Relief Route That Wasn't: The Never Built I-70 Bypass in the Mid-Mon Valley

In June 1963, a small blurb in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette read that The Westmoreland Engineering Company was awarded a $24,060 bid to study the proposed construction of Interstate 70 in Westmoreland and Washington Counties.  The study was to see what the construction and right-of-way costs "...to modernize the existing highway to Interstate requirements within eight months." (1)  This small, non-attributed, three paragraph article came less than a decade after the completion of a four lane highway that linked the Mid-Mon Valley to the Pennsylvania Turnpike. This would be the start of a 15 year process to upgrade and improve Interstate 70 - a process that ultimately never produced a single foot of new highway.

This is the story, albeit brief, of the I-70 that never came about.

Background:
What is now known as Interstate70 from Washington to New Stanton began as a connecting highway for the region to the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  Known as the "Express Highway", construct…

A look at Pittsburgh's Saw Mill Run Boulevard

Saw Mill Run Boulevard - Pennsylvania State Route 51 - runs through the narrow Saw Mill Run Valley.  It begins at the intersection of Clairton Road and Provost Road at the City of Pittsburgh Line with Brentwood.  It ends at the West End Circle at the entrance to the West End Bridge.  A four lane highway for its the entire length, Saw Mill Run Boulevard consists of interchanges at the South Portal of the Liberty Tubes and with the Parkway West.  It is an expressway from the Parkway to the West End Circle (West End Bypass).  One of the most well known traffic tie-ups in the Pittsburgh area occurs between Maytide Street and PA 88 (Library Road) which is simply known as 'Maytide and 88.'

History:
Saw Mill Run Boulevard was part of the 1928 Allegheny County 'City Beautiful' bond issue.  The bonds resulted in the creation of Saw Mill Run, Ohio River, Allegheny River and Mosside Boulevards. (1)   After the completion of the Liberty Tunnels in 1924, Downtown Pittsburgh was offic…

The Many Failed Plans of Pittsburgh's Wabash Bridge and Tunnel

The December 27, 2004 opening of the Wabash Tunnel ended over 70 years of proposals and speculation for the use of the over 100 year old facility.  The tunnel, which is now a reversible roadway that is an alternative route for rush hour traffic, saw many failed plans during the 20th Century.  These plans included options for mass transit, converted and new bridges for vehicles, and other forms of transportation.

Brief History:
Constructed in 1902-04, the Wabash Bridge and Tunnel was planned and financed by rail mogul, Jay Gould.  Gould began his "Battle of the Wabash" with the established railroads of the city in 1890.  He would finally emerge victorious, but during that struggle, Gould would see many setbacks that would eventually result in the railroad's bankruptcy in 1908.  On October 19, 1903, when the two ends of the bridge were to be joined together over the Monongahela River, the 109' bridge collapsed; killing ten men.  Construction would resume four days later …