Assemblywoman Malliotakis Calls for Toll Amnesty on Verrazano Bridge

January 26, 2018

Assemblywoman Malliotakis with affected constituents at press conference addressing cashless tolling glitches.

Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, joined by affected constituents, held a press conference today, calling on the MTA to establish a toll amnesty program to credit violations received due to glitches with the new cashless tolling system on the Verrazano Bridge. Countless commuters have received violations of up to $100 per trip due to lack of notice of insufficient funds, poor screening of passengers in carpool lanes, and incorrectly identified class 1 drivers. A similar amnesty program to the one Malliotakis describes was established by the New York State Thruway Authority for violations received on Mario Cuomo Bridge. Over the last 4 days alone, over 1,100 commuters were forced to pay toll balances totaling $49,000.

“Cashless tolling has its benefits, such as improving traffic flow and easing congestion at toll plazas, however there are clear glitches within the system that need to be addressed. The MTA should not be making a windfall on commuters if violations are due to glitches in the tolling system. I’m asking that the agency establish amnesty for violations received since cashless tolling went into effect on July 8, 2017,” said the Assemblywoman.

Malliotakis also urged law enforcement to crackdown on true toll evaders, who remove or alter their license plates, or use covers that make the number illegible. She also encouraged customers to avoid being victims of unfair violations by signing up for email and text alerts at www.ezpassny.com. Users will receive notification of low balance or insufficient funds before it results in a charge. The Assemblywoman also suggested that improvements be made to envelope markings when warnings are mailed to individuals.

Lastly, the Assemblywoman addressed Gov. Cuomo’s call for expansion of cashless tolling to all Port Authority Crossings and the New York State Thruway, asserting that there should be no more expansion of the system until these issues are worked through.