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MTA: ‘cashless tolls’ to roll out Saturday at last 2 crossings

Cashless tolling at the Throgs Neck Bridge crossing

Cashless tolling at the Throgs Neck Bridge crossing will begin at 3 a.m. Saturday, the MTA said Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017. Credit: Alamy / Phil Wills

The MTA’s remaining two toll plazas will be gone by this Saturday, the agency’s chairman said Wednesday.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Joe Lhota announced that, at 3 a.m. Saturday, cashless tolling will go live at the Throgs Neck and Bronx-Whitestone bridges — officially marking an end to toll plazas, and the traffic that comes with them, at the agency’s crossings.

Under the new system, gated toll booths are replaced by elevated gantries with sensors that scan E-ZPass transponders and cameras that photograph the license plates of cars without E-ZPass. Drivers get a bill in the mail for the cash amount.

The MTA has been rolling out the technology at its crossings since late last year, including at the Queens-Midtown Tunnel and most recently the Robert F. Kennedy and Verrazano Narrows bridges.

The news came at the first meeting of the full MTA Board since Amtrak concluded its eight-week-long infrastructure renewal project at Penn Station. Despite the LIRR being forced to reduce rush-hour service to Penn, the railroad posted its best on-time performance of the year in July and August, and Lhota said Wednesday that September is on pace to be “even better.”

The continued improvements are “indicative . . . that this is the new norm,” said Lhota, who has attributed the gains to enhanced management and communications strategies at the MTA.

“I think the consensus was that the summer wasn’t all that bad,” Lhota said. “Now that it’s over, we can’t rest on our laurels.”

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