YONKERS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – The E-ZPass customer service center on McLean Avenue in Yonkers was swamped with people trying to take advantage of the last day of a fine amnesty program.
Monday was the deadline for the program, which applies to drivers that traveled over the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Tappan Zee Bridge and received fines under the cashless tolling program.
People who have been driving over the bridge have received fines in the hundreds and thousands when they did indeed intend to pay the toll but were wrongly fined.
“Really important for me to try to get in and take care of those tolls without the violation fee,” driver Jovan Reid said. Drivers like Reid who have racked up hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in violations tried to take advantage of the Thruway Authority’s program.
Anyone who was eligible for the program should have received a letter in early February from the agency with their outstanding balances. Waiting in line Monday proved more difficult than expected.
“I waited in line for almost two and a half hours, and it’s just ridiculous,” Lynne VonnHagen said
With a lock of the door, the program shuttered at 7 p.m. Monday, but drivers like Stephen O’Shea who use bridges like the Cross Bay and the White Stone run by the MTA say they’ve been totally shut out of any help.
“I was fined over $13,000,” he told CBS2’s Jessica Layton. “My bill was $14,000. I literally went into sweats.”
Unfortunately, the MTA isn’t offering the same fine forgiveness program.
CBS2 asked the agency why it won’t extend a similar program to drivers who use their bridges and tunnels. They hadn’t answered that specific question by Monday night, but did say it “will continue our one-time courtesy of waiving first-time violation notice fees upon full payment of tolls.”
O’Shea says even after he called and paid the $1,100 in tolls he owed, another stack of threatening letters demanding the violations came again. They’ve already revoked his E-Z Pass, and he says his car is next.
The MTA says anyone who wants to dispute a violation can call E-Z Pass to start the process then send a letter to the customer service center.