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MTA and state look to keep repeat toll violators off the roads

Photo courtesy of MTA / Oscar Gonzalez

Drivers who avoid paying tolls to travel the MTA’s bridges and tunnels in New York City could have their vehicle registrations suspended under proposed rule changes announced on Monday.

The MTA’s Bridge and Tunnels Committee approved updating its rules regarding the enforcement of tolls on its crossings, reflecting a proposed state regulation cracking down on motorists who repeatedly fail to pay tolls or fees related to motor vehicle violations. The rule changes would take effect if the proposed regulation is adopted by the state.

Under the proposed regulation, any driver who fails to pay tolls five times within an 18-month period would be assessed a $50 fee and warned that their vehicle registrations could be suspended if they do not pay the fee or successfully challenge the violation in court within a 45-day period.

“New York’s transportation network relies on drivers paying their fair share and those who evade tolls put an unfair burden on other law-abiding motorists,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a statement Monday. “This ramped-up enforcement sends the message that these actions will not be tolerated and will keep those who ignore their responsibilities off our roadways.”

“More than 800,000 vehicles use our bridges and tunnels on an average weekday, and our customers have the right to expect that they all pay the proper toll,” added acting MTA Bridges and Tunnels President Donald Spero. “As more of our customers rely on E-ZPass and our Rockaways crossings move to all-electronic tolling, stronger enforcement of our toll policies will benefit every motorist at our bridges and tunnels.”

Passenger vehicle drivers pay $8 cash (or $5.54 on E-ZPass) each way to cross the Bronx-Whitestone, Throgs Neck and Robert F. Kennedy (Triborough) bridges and the Hugh L. Carey (Brooklyn-Battery) and Queens Midtown tunnels; and $4 cash (or $2.08 on E-ZPass) in each direction to traverse the Gil Hodges-Marine Parkway or Cross Bay Veterans Memorial bridges. The MTA imposes a $50 administrative fee to any driver who fails to ay their tolls through E-ZPass or mailed invoices.

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