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Cashless Toll Technology Enables Congestion Pricing in Manhattan



(p. A15) As debate about creating a toll system to limit traffic in the most congested parts of Manhattan heats up, a transformation in technology could make congestion pricing a far more realistic notion than when it was last proposed a decade ago.

By the end of the year, nine crossings around the city will employ an open-road, cashless collection system that does away with tollbooths, toll lanes and toll collectors. Instead, sensors and cameras installed both above the road and in the pavement itself will capture cars and trucks as they zip by at full speed - automatically charging the 90 percent of drivers with E-ZPass transponders, and billing the other 10 percent by mail.

A decade ago, when the Bloomberg administration first proposed congestion pricing, such tolling technology was in its infancy and not widely used. Now, it is in place in some 35 jurisdictions, and its deployment in New York is the most ambitious use of the technology in a complicated urban setting.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who had not shown any enthusiasm for congestion pricing, has embraced the idea of late as a way to raise billions of dollars for the city's ailing subway system. But Mayor Bill de Blasio has been steadfast in his opposition, and has instead pushed a plan to raise transportation funds by increasing taxes on wealthy New Yorkers.

Mr. Cuomo has yet to release a detailed congestion-pricing plan, but most schemes being discussed call for tolling vehicles to enter crowded parts of Manhattan, and doing so in a way that that does not slow the flow of traffic. By making toll-collecting all but invisible, Mr. Cuomo hopes congestion pricing will be more politically viable this time around.



For the full story, see:

MARC SANTORA. "Cashless Toll System Could Pave the Way for Manhattan Congestion Pricing." The New York Times (Sat., AUG. 26, 2017): A15.

(Note: the online version of the story has the date AUG. 25, 2017, and has the title "Open-Road Tolls Could Pave the Way for Manhattan Congestion Pricing.")






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