BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Crossing the Peace Bridge is going to be a little more expensive starting December 1.
The Peace Bridge Authority approved its 2021 budget which includes new toll rates.
Travelers using E-ZPass will be charged $4.00, up from $3.75, and those using cash will be charged $6.00 starting December 1 and $8 as of March 1 of 2021.
“The PBA is 100% self-reliant on tolls and rental income and this budget reflects the devastating impact that the pandemic and the border closure has had on our business,” said Chairman Ken Manning.
Officials say since the border was closed to all but essential travel on March 21, 2020 car volumes have been reduced by 94% and truck traffic by 13%. The operations budget was reduced by approximately $3 million and overall staffing has been cut by 26%.They are also hoping to reduce the Covid-19 health risk for employees and the public by encouraging as many people as possible to use E-ZPass.
“Unlike other toll entities the PBA does not have the ability to read license plates to implement a toll-by-mail system nor does it have the legal authority to enforce non-payment, so having a differential rate that discourages the handling of cash or credit cards is really the only means available.The New York State Thruway system will be fully cashless next month and most toll authorities, including Hwy 407 in Ontario, impose significant surcharges for not using an electronic transponder,” said Vice-chairman Tim Clutterbuck.
E-ZPass transponders will be available at Peace Bridge toll booths or they can be acquired on-line at https://www.e-zpassny.com/en/signup/facility.shtml.
Kelly Khatib is a digital reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.