The MTA’s open-road tolling efforts are cruising along so far. This week, the agency released data from the first month after gates were removed from the toll booths at the Henry Hudson Bridge connecting Manhattan and the Bronx. The results so far? Travel time from Kappock Street (the entrance ramp in the Bronx closest to the bridge) and the toll plaza leading into Manhattan has been more than cut in half, from just over 2 minutes to 50 seconds during the morning rush.
Because the gates are gone, drivers no longer get stuck behind anyone who incorrectly takes the EZ-Pass lane or has a negative account balance; those incidents occurred 260 times a day when the gates were up, according to the MTA. (Cameras have been set up which photograph the license plate of drivers who erroneously take the EZ-Pass lane, and tickets are sent in the mail.)
It’s a promising start that should cut down on emissions, make life a little easier for the tens of thousands of people who use the bridge every day, and encourage the MTA to expand the program to other crossings. The second step of the pilot project, introduction of electronic tolls in every lane, will require state approval.
Photo: Via MTA.