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Real Travel Time Information for Motorists

New electronic travel time signs installed at MTA Bridges and Tunnels' crossings, along with a new web tool are giving motorists more real travel time information to help keep them moving.

Some signs are already up and working at the Robert F. Kennedy, Verrazano-Narrows, Henry Hudson, and Throgs Neck Bridges and more are planned at other MTA crossings in the next couple of years. The signs give motorists real travel time information to major regional destinations and connecting highways.

Real Time Travel Sign Photo"Giving motorists real travel time information not only allows drivers to make more informed driving choices, it also helps us improve traffic flow at our crossings," said MTA Bridges and Tunnels Chief Technology Officer Tariq Habib.

One sign located in Brooklyn just before the Verrazano-;Narrows Bridge tells drivers how long it will take to reach the toll plaza on both the upper and lower levels. "By directing traffic to the level that has the least amount of vehicles at that particular time we are able to balance the flow of traffic," Habib said.

The Henry Hudson sign tells drivers how long it will take to reach 57th Street in Manhattan, while signs at the RFK Bridge in the Bronx give travel time to the Long Island and Brooklyn Queens Expressways via the Grand Central Parkway, and in Queens to the George Washington Bridge via the Major Deegan Expressway or the Harlem River Drive.

The electronic signs also give motorists important weather and roadway information. Over the last several years, Bridges and Tunnels has installed or replaced 27 electronic message signs, and will install or replace another 30 under the current Capital Program.

In addition to electronic signs, motorists can also go to the Bridges and Tunnels webpage, accessed via www.mta.info , before they leave home and check out the online virtual application that anonymously collects data from E-ZPass transponders to calculate the average speed and time it takes to cross our bridges and tunnels.

Real Time Travel Sign PhotoThe data used for this application does not take into account traffic leading up to the toll plaza, just the time it takes from the MTA toll plaza through or across a bridge or tunnel. It's also available on BlackBerry and iPhones through mobile websites.

And by summer, B&T hopes to launch a one-touch application for iPhone users that will give them access to streaming video near toll plazas, toll information, and real travel times at B&T crossings. This information, of course, is not meant to be accessed by motorists while driving. It is useful to access before motorists leave home or by a passenger in the vehicle.