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Feb. 22, 2008

A DECADE OF E-ZPass SUCCESS

Highland, NY – While it may seem like it’s always been there, it was only 10 years ago this weekend that mid-Hudson bridges began using E-ZPass.

Today, almost 60% of all vehicles crossing NYS Bridge Authority bridges use E-ZPass.
“Crossing our bridges easier, faster and safer were the original objectives of E-ZPass”, Authority Chairman James Sproat said.  “We’ve met those goals and achieved additional benefits in reducing congestion and air pollution.”

The state Bridge Authority began installing the electronics for E-ZPass in 1997 and ‘officially’ launched the E-ZPass operation on February 23, 1998.

At the heart of the E-ZPass toll payment system is an electronic “tag” which is placed inside the front windshield. As a vehicle passes through E-ZPass-equipped toll lanes, the system recognizes the tag's individual code and bills the account accordingly.

 “For travelers, the convenience of E-ZPass is a great asset.  All metropolitan New York toll agencies use E-ZPass and the same tag you use for mid-Hudson bridges is now accepted in 12 states, with more to come,” Sproat added.

E-ZPass is accepted in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Maine, New Hampshire, Illinois, Indiana, Virginia and West Virginia.  Travelers will also benefit as E-ZPass is expected to expand in Ohio and Rhode Island over the next two years.

E-ZPass was first deployed on the NYS Thruway at the Spring Valley toll plaza on August 3, 1993 and covered the entire 496-mile system by 1997.

The Bridge Authority operates E-ZPass with its E-ZPassNY partners; the NYS Thruway Authority, MTA and Port Authority of NY and NJ.  Along with these agencies, the Bridge Authority has realized savings through efficiencies in sharing resources to build a state of the art transaction processing system and infrastructure.

For more information on E-ZPass and where E-ZPass can be used, contact the E-ZPass New York Service Center at 1-800-333-8655 or sign up on-line at www.e-zpassny.com.

Quick Facts about the New York State Bridge Authority

    • The NYS Bridge Authority operates the Bear Mountain, Newburgh-Beacon, Mid-Hudson, Kingston-Rhinecliff and Rip Van Winkle bridges.      
    • The Authority is funded from bridge tolls and receives no tax monies for bridge maintenance and operation.
    • The Authority holds the highest bond rating given any public toll-transportation entity in the United States, reducing bond and annual costs.
    • The $1 passenger vehicle toll for east-bound passage on all Authority bridges is among the lowest nationwide for self-supporting transportation agencies (there is no toll for west-bound passage).
    • Tolls today are actually lower, in real dollars, than they were in 1933 when the Authority began operations.
    • Accidents on Authority bridges in 2007 were among the lowest in recent history, resulting in one accident for every 387,000 crossings.