New Jersey Port Authority to spend $170 million to upgrade toll system, end cash tolls
Port Authority officials plan to spend $170 million to modernize the toll collection equipment at its bridges and tunnels and to set the stage to completely eliminate cash tolls, according to agency documents.
The authority’s Board of Commissioners will be asked to vote on Thursday to replace the existing Integrated Toll Collection System, which dates to 1997, with new equipment. That will allow the agency to switch to all-electronic toll collection at a future date.
The first toll booths to be eliminated will be at the Bayonne Bridge when it re-opens in 2017 after a project to raise the bridge roadway is completed, said Neal Buccino, a Port Authority spokesman. Officials haven’t determined when all electronic tolling system will be implemented at the tunnels and other bridges, he said.
“At this time, the agency does not have plans for the establishment of AET at its other crossings,” Buccino said.
The AET system is similar to high speed E-Z Pass.
Vehicles drive under gantries which read E-Z Pass transponders. Cameras photograph the license plates of vehicles without an E-Z Pass transponder and a bill for the toll and an administrative fee will be sent to the registered owner.
The Port Authority spent $38 million in 2014 to upgrade the existing toll collection system to ensure it will continue working through 2020.