MTA Bridges and Tunnels' successful program to sell E-ZPass On-the-Go tags in cash lanes at its crossings hit another milestone over the weekend, reaching 150,000 in sales since the program began nearly two years ago.
"We want people to use E-ZPass because it's good for the MTA, good for the environment and helps keep traffic moving, said MTA Interim Executive Director Thomas F. Prendergast. "Through this program and others like it we are making it easier than ever for customers to pick up an E-ZPass and at the same time give them more control over how much money and where they replenish an account."
Those who prefer cash can use the MTA Reload Card to conveniently refill accounts at any of the 2,500 Visa ReadyLink locations throughout the region instead of traveling to one of three regional walk-in centers. The MTA Reload Card is not a credit card; it simply identifies the account for the cash reload.
With the MTA Reload Card they can still use cash and receive the E-ZPass discount, which is $2.17 per trip at most MTA crossings with an E-ZPass from the New York Customer Service Center. Anyone from any state can request an MTA E-ZPass.
MTA customers who don't like pre-paying for tolls, maintaining a minimum balance or supplying a credit card can also choose MTA's Pay Per Trip payment plan where tolls are deducted from your bank account once the trip is taken using the Automated Clearing House (ACH) system.
The program edged over the 150,000 mark early Sunday morning after selling 518 tags the previous day. The tags can be purchased in cash lanes for $30, plus the price of the current trip. If linked to a credit or debit card, it can be used to pay up to $30 in tolls. There is a $10 tag deposit if it is not linked.
To date, the most tags have been sold at the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge with 35,967 (20,641 at the Bronx plaza and 15,326 at the Manhattan plaza) followed by 29,120 at the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge, 28,778 at the Throgs Neck Bridge and 21,974 at the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.
Cash lane sales tend to be strongest on weekends and slowest on Wednesdays, and tend to increase during holiday weekends, including Thanksgiving, Martin Luther King Jr., and Presidents' Day weekends.
A pilot program to sell On-the-Go tags in cash lanes began at the Henry Hudson Bridge in June 2011 and was expanded to the other eight crossings in March and April of 2012. On-the-Go tags must be registered within 48 hours of its first use, or the tag is deactivated. This can be done on line at www.ezpassny.com or by calling a toll free number at 1-800-333-TOLL (8655).