Date: Apr 04, 2001
Press Release Number: 54-2001
A milestone in traffic management will be reached on Monday, April 16, when the Port Authority introduces its first fully automated toll plaza operation. The initiative, which affects overnight hours at the Palisades Interstate Parkway entrance to the George Washington Bridge, underscores the agency\'s commitment to expanding E-ZPass and will allow opening hours for the toll plaza to be increased.
From 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, and from 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday to 7 a.m. the following mornings, the Palisades Interstate Parkway plaza will be open to E-ZPass customers only. Currently, the entire toll plaza closes to all traffic Monday through Friday at 11 p.m. The plaza is open to both E-ZPass and cash customers from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. weekdays as well as overnight on Saturdays and Sundays.
\"The phenomenal growth of E-ZPass has allowed us to offer this new customer convenience at the Palisades Interstate Parkway toll plaza - where more than 70 percent of travelers already use electronic toll collection,\" said Steve Napolitano, General Manager of the George Washington Bridge and Bus Station. \"Creative new uses of E-ZPass together with the new high-tech ITS (Intelligent Transportation System) traffic management system at the George Washington Bridge, will allow us to help speed travel over the world\'s busiest bridge.\"
During overnight hours, when the toll plaza is open to E-ZPass customers only, signs will direct cash customers to alternate routes to the bridge. Port Authority supervisors will be at the toll plaza during the first week of operation to assist motorists who inadvertently enter the toll plaza without E-ZPass.
E-ZPass use at Port Authority facilities has grown steadily since it began operation in 1997. The Port Authority\'s new toll structure, designed to increase use of E-ZPass, already has helped drive the E-ZPass market share up 3 percent at the Palisades Parkway toll plaza. The new tolls took effect on March 25. Currently, 65 percent of Port Authority customers use electronic toll collection when traveling over its bridges and tunnels.