Port Authority To Allow Cash Customers Through E-ZPass Lanes In Emergencies Like Outerbridge Crossing Debacle

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – An Easter backup approaching the Outerbridge Crossing has lead to a new policy from the Port Authority.

WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb: Everyone Will Be Let Through The E-ZPass Lanes

Port Authority Executive Director Chris Ward apologized for the incident and promises the hours-long back-up that occurred on Sunday will never happen again.

“We’re going to allow technology to solve this problem, that when traffic levels get to that extraodinary level as we saw on Easter, we’re gonna need radio’s help to let people know that they are cleared to go through the E-ZPass lanes even if they typically pay cash.”

Cameras will capture license plate numbers and those without E-ZPass tags will receive a letter in the mail requesting the $8 toll. There will be no penalties, fees, or fines – simply the toll.

Staten Island New York City Councilman James Oddo was infuriated by the traffic mess, which resulted from only one cash lane being open.

“Who made this decision and when you see that the backup is halfway to Mexico, isn’t there a red phone that you can pick up and say ‘We have a problem, this has to be addressed?’ This wasn’t an hour. It wasn’t two hours. It wasn’t rush hour. It was an all-day event. This is filed under ‘galactically stupid’,” Oddo said.

The ride over the Goethals Bridge should take only a few minutes, particularly with E-ZPass, but drivers said they were stuck in a traffic jam for up to seven hours Sunday.

More from Rich Lamb
Comments

One Comment

  1. FrankTalker says:

    With that much of a traffic jam they could have just waved people through and forgotten about collecting fees for a day. Not unheard of.

    Also what is the fine for going through an EZ-Pass lane? Are they still able to collect from cars from other States/Provinces besides NY and NJ?

  2. vic says:

    Cash only lanes are backed up even with more than one toll clerk on duty. BRING EXACT CHANGE!!!!!!!

    1. diane says:

      We have to pay $8.00 for the pleasure of being in a traffic nightmare. This is insane!!!! The 2 NJ bridge crossings are antiquated. On the Florida Turnpike they either bill to the license plate or Sun Pass. Why can’t they do that here and keep the traffic moving.I think it;s horrible that it cost ‘s $21.00 in tolls from Brooklyn to NJ without the high gas prices.

  3. vic says:

    Why should EZ Pass customers now be inconvenienced because stupid drivers can’t plan ahead on a holiday travel day to bring exact cash to a cash only lane when they now they will be hitting tolls?! Give me a break! Whiners!!!! So now those with EZ Pass will now be stuck behind these morons. Brilliant!!!

  4. keith says:

    This whole debacle was caused by union tollbooth collectors with $30/hr jobs
    who don’t want their jobs privatized and replaced with $12/hr jobs. Period. They were trying to stick it to the driiving public to show how valuable they are, and showing that even thinking of privatizing their jobs would be a bad idea.

    1. doris says:

      you’re wrong

  5. Mike says:

    If the cameras can be used to bill non EZPass tagholders in an emergency then why doesn’t the PA fire all the toll collectors and bill later all the time? Are there legal barriers that would prevent them from collecting from drivers outside NY & NJ?

  6. Frank says:

    Would common sence tell you to simply put more toll collectors on duty ???? What a disgrace ! This non solution simply creates more confusion.

  7. JOHN MARTIN says:

    SOME ONE IS BULL S—–G US PASSED OVER BRIDGE SAT YES SAT AT 4;15 PM TOOK ONE HR; REASON ONLY ONE CASH LANE WHO LET AND HOW MANY EMPLO. WERE ALLOWED OFF ON EASTER WEEK END FIND THAT PERSON AND YOU SLOVE THE PROULBEM

  8. Steve says:

    This does not settle the issue. Tolls need to go away, and some other way needs to be found to pay the freight on bridge, tunnel, and highway maintenance.

  9. Dan Te says:

    What happens if the EZ Pass computer system fails?

    1. Raymond says:

      Dante …get yer head ouuta the oven. Failure to communicate= no toll.

Comments are closed.

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