Metropolitan Transportation Authority logo

MTA Press Releases

Press Release
January 26, 2018
MTA Announces New Data Showing Cashless Tolling Successes in First Year
Customer Travel Time Reduced 32%, Fuel Consumption Down 1.6 Billion Gallons, Collisions Reduced by 41%

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today released data collected over a full year at toll plazas that had transitioned from traditional toll booths to Open Road Cashless Tolling. The statistics reveal significant and sustained improvements for motorists and the environment through decreased travel times, reduced congestion, lower carbon emissions, improved safety, and savings to the agency through reduced overall costs.

“The accelerated schedule we undertook to bring Cashless Tolling to all of our facilities in 2017 underscores our commitment to investing in New York's transportation network,” said MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota. “The initial results are very encouraging and we will continue to work at providing our customers an enhanced travel experience at our crossings, while also making sure our facilities remain safe.”

Open road tolling (ORT) has allowed for a smoother, quicker, and more continuous commute across all of our facilities.
• Customer travel time has been reduced by up to 32%
• Customers have saved 3.4 million hours of travel time.

The removal of toll booths has eliminated the unnecessary idling of vehicles in toll plazas which has contributed to a cleaner environment.
• Fuel consumption has been reduced by 1.6 billion gallons.
• Carbon emissions reduced by 15,393 tons.

ORT has allowed for a safer experience for our customers at all crossings, as toll booth removal has eliminated the need for unsafe merging and last minute lane changes in toll plazas.
• Compared to the pre-ORT period, total collision rate on MTA bridges and tunnels has decreased by 12.8%
• Number of collisions in the old toll areas is down by 41.42%

Throughout the first year of the program, efficiencies have been realized and contractor costs have been negotiated at a lower rate. Furthermore, future project costs related to toll plaza/toll booth maintenance and rehabilitation have been avoided.
• Cost of program overall – negotiated prices are 14% below the contractor’s proposal and within 4% of engineer’s estimate.
• Initial 5 year investment estimate for expansion of back office facilitation of program to all facilities was $149 million, but efficiencies identified last year has reduced this investment level down to $93 million.
• Elimination of planned capital toll plaza related projects (toll plaza rehabilitation) avoids costs totaling $650 million over the next 20 years.

MTA has enhanced security and traffic enforcement‎ operations to ensure facilities remain safe and that scofflaws are held accountable.
• Security towers have integrated security systems – security lighting, license plate readers, cameras, homeland security sensors.

With the implementation of Cashless Tolling accompanied by a public outreach campaign, 94% of MTA Bridges and Tunnels toll transactions are paid with E-ZPass, an all-time high. We have also strengthened our ability to enforce the payment of tolls, all contributing to keeping our revenue collections strong, which are currently greater than 100% with the combination of tolls and fees.
• Toll revenue collection (tolls and violation fees) at the Henry Hudson, the first bridge to transition to Cashless Tolling is at 106.8%, and the other bridges and tunnels are on track to collect the same.

To ensure that all users of MTA toll facilities pay their fair share, a series of enforcement measures are in place to tackle toll payment evasion and chronic toll scofflaws. Customers who do not pay their tolls are subject to violation fees, registration suspensions, and other enforcement actions. Late fees will apply if an initial toll bill is unpaid, and if a second notice is also ignored, violation fees of up to $100 per toll violation may be imposed.

The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles has enacted regulations that allow suspension of the vehicle registration of motorists with three or more unpaid tolls, violation fees and other charges resulting from violations on different days, as well as registration suspension of commercial vehicle owners with $200 or more in unpaid tolls and violation fees within a period of five years. Repeated notices are sent before eligibility for suspension.

Customers are also recommended to sign up for Mobile Alerts to receive email and/or text messages of important information regarding their E-ZPass account. Notifications are sent for low balances, failed payments, successful replenishments, increased replenishment amounts, and payment method expirations. Customers can login to their account at, go to Account Profile, and opt-in to Mobile Alerts. Customers must have an email address and/or cell phone number listed on their account.

For drivers who don’t have E-ZPass and drive through a Cashless Tolling facility, the registered vehicle owner will receive a Toll Bill in the mail. Drivers who receive a bill can pay it online at the Tolls by Mail website, by mail, over the phone, or in-person, and payment options include check, credit card, bank account, or cash. Customers who call **826 from most mobile devices will receive a text with a link to the Tolls by Mail website and information on how to set up a Pay Toll Now account that can be used by rental car customers.

All drivers are encouraged to visit to sign up and save 30-50 percent on MTA tolls. E-ZPass tags can also be purchased at local DMV offices and at the New York Transit Museum Store. For additional information on how to set up an E-ZPass account please visit or call 1-800-333-TOLL (8655).