Statewide cashless tolling has taken another step forward in New York.
Right now these tolls exist two places in the state – the Hudson Valley and Grand Island. But by the end of 2020 they’ll be a reality for everyone driving on the New York State thruway.
On Monday, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the state’s Thruway Authority approved Cashless Tolling Constructors, LLC as the Design-Build team that will be converting the 52 toll barriers on the thruway – a $355.3 million investment.
Many residents in Grand Island tell News 4 they’re skeptical this will be a good thing for motorists, and that they’re frequently dealing with billing issues at bridge’s cashless tolls.
“I cringe because it’s going to be nothing but chaos,” said Melinda Wagner. “It’s a hindrance to people. A lot of people weren’t getting their mail. If they don’t get their mail right away, for whatever reason, I’ve heard people having 300 bills.”
But those who are in favor, like Amherst Town Supervisor Brian Kulpa, say this will cut down on traffic and be better for the environment. He said the town often deals with congestion on certain roadways near the thruway entrance, and that in some places the smell of car exhaust is overwhelming. Kulpa said if this could reduce traffic by just 10 percent it will be a positive.
Construction on this project is set to begin by the end of summer and run until the end of 2020.