Press Release Article
PORT AUTHORITY TO LAUNCH SECOND AUTOMATED TOLL PLAZA AT GWB
Date: Dec 30, 2003
Press Release Number: 170-2003
Lower Level to Serve E-ZPass Customers Only During Overnight Hours
Continuing its commitment to enhance the E-ZPass electronic toll collection system, the Port Authority will introduce a second fully automated toll plaza during the overnight hours at the lower level of the George Washington Bridge for E-ZPass customers. The first E-ZPass only toll plaza was introduced during the overnight hours at the Palisades Interstate Parkway entrance to the George Washington Bridge on April 16, 2001.
Beginning Sunday, January 4, 2004, the lower level of the George Washington Bridge will be open to E-ZPass customers only on Mondays through Fridays from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m., and on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. The upper level of the George Washington Bridge will continue to serve cash paying customers and E-ZPass customers at all times.
Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, “Since 1997, the Port Authority’s E-ZPass program has greatly changed the way in which people throughout this region travel. Our first fully automated toll plaza ushered in an era of new technology two years ago, and we are pleased to see that we are again making strides by implementing a second.”
Port Authority Executive Director Joseph J. Seymour said, “Fully automated toll plazas are a technology that allow us to better manage traffic and increase mobility for our customers. Approximately 65 percent of all motorists use E-ZPass when traveling across the George Washington Bridge each day. By allowing them to use dedicated E-ZPass lanes when they travel, we save them both time and money, which are two of the greatest conveniences we can offer our customers.”
The Port Authority’s Tunnels, Bridges and Terminals Department Director Ken Philmus said, “As the number of customers who use E-ZPass to pay their toll at Port Authority crossings continues to grow, we have been able to explore new plaza configurations to expedite traffic and make facility operations more efficient. Another toll plaza at the George Washington Bridge dedicated solely to E-ZPass customers during the overnight hours will allow us to increase mobility for the more than two-thirds of our customers who use E-ZPass, while deploying our cash toll collection resources in the most efficient manner possible.”
Variable message signs alerting motorists to these changes will be posted on approach roads to the George Washington Bridge. Printed information about the changes and E-ZPass applications will be available to motorists at the toll plaza. For additional information, call 800 221-9903 on weekdays between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to speak with a customer service representative. At other times, automated information is available. Information is also available on the Port Authority’s web site: www.panynj.gov.
E-ZPass use at Port Authority facilities has grown steadily since it began operation in 1997. The Port Authority’s Congestion Pricing toll structure, with its deep discounts during off-peak hours, has helped increase the E-ZPass market share to nearly 70 percent on weekdays and 66 percent overall.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates many of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. They include John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia and Teterboro airports; AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark; the George Washington Bridge; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) rapid-transit rail system; the Downtown Manhattan Heliport; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The agency also owns the 16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan. The Port Authority is financially self-supporting and receives no tax revenue from either state.