TARRYTOWN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Some drivers say cashless tolling has been far from easy. Many complain the billing system is a mess, and the New York State Thruway Authority has now announced a possible solution.
Jay Gomez of Tarrytown says he saved time not having to stop and pay on the Mario Cuomo Bridge, but then it took him months of phone calls to resolve a bill for hundreds of dollars.
“They have my wrong address so then I had to dispute it,” said Gomez.
The same thing happened to Olivia Edwards’ friend.
“Didn’t check her mail and then her toll doubled and then tripled and it was crazy,” Edwards said.
To address the issues, the New York State Thruway Authority announced Wednesday that starting Monday of next week, customers with open violations will be able to pay outstanding balances on a web site. Violations and fees will then be waived. They have until Feb. 26 of this year to pay them.
“The tolls that aren’t collected are $5.2 million, so we collect the $5.2 million, we’d be out about $3 million, but we think it’s worth it to give everybody an opportunity to wipe the slate clean in 2018. That’s why we’re also going to be very focused on education,” Matt Driscoll of the New York State Thruway Authority said.
The program only applies to those who received violations on the Mario Cuomo Bridge between April 24, 2016 and Jan. 31 of this year. Customers currently on payment plans will not have to make additional payments.
“Drivers are going to be able to log onto a newly created website page – Thruway.NY.gov/Amnesty,” said Driscoll.
Some drivers say they never received the bills, then faced excessive fees. However, Driscoll insists all invoices were mailed.
New envelops will indicate toll bills are inside.
On Tuesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he wanted to expand cashless tolling across the entire New York State Thruway.
“We need to do an EZ pass education campaign. We have an issue on the old Tappan Zee Mario Cuomo Bridge, interestingly downstate people use EZ pass more than people upstate,” Cuomo said. “They have been using it for years there are many more EZ pass bridges, tunnels, etc. So the number of EZ passes upstate and in the Hudson Valley is much lower.”
The New York State Thruway Authority said about 83 percent of people using the Mario Cuomo Bridge have EZ Pass wherein New York City that number is closer to 94 percent.