Bye-bye, toll booths: Port begins all-electronic collection at Holland Tunnel

Within 18 months, all six Hudson River crossings will go to all-electronic system, greatly improving speed through, while reducing accidents

All tolls at the Holland Tunnel are now being collected electronically under a modern toll system that made its debut Wednesday morning, according to Port Authority of New York and New Jersey officials.

It’s the next step in a conversation to all-electronic tolling, which uses overhead gantries with E-ZPass transponders — and will bring an end to toll booths and toll plazas on the six Hudson River crossings operated by the Port.

AET already is in use at the Outerbridge Crossing, Bayonne Bridge and Goethals Bridge, where it has helped reduce crashes since implementation in 2019. Over the next 18 months, the Lincoln Tunnel and the George Washington Bridge will make the switch.

For Holland Tunnel motorists without E-ZPass tags, the change will come in the mail and customer service. Since mid-March, when Port Authority removed attendants from toll booths due to public health and safety protocols related to COVID-19, toll information was collected electronically by cameras and drivers were sent their toll bills by mail.

Toll bills will still arrive by mail, but with greater accuracy and improved customer service for transaction resolution. Additionally, a newly launched Tolls NY smartphone app provides easy and 24/7 access to customer service for all cashless toll transactions, eliminating the need to wait for bills in order to pay or access to toll and payment history.

The switch not only will speed access through tunnels and over bridges, but it will increase the safety in the area. Vehicle crashes at the Hudson River toll plazas are expected to decline by 75% once AET is fully implemented.

On the roadway, motorists can look forward to a faster, more efficient and seamless experience crossing the Hudson into New York. The toll plazas will be history, as toll booths will no longer be in use.

“A significant portion of vehicle accidents happen within the toll collection area, because of the lane changing and merging into toll lanes,” said Enrique Ramirez, general manager of the Holland Tunnel. “By eliminating those features, drivers can enter the tunnel more seamlessly. All-electronic tolling is a safer, more efficient way to keep the region moving.”

Two massive gantries housing the technology for the new toll system, each 130 feet long and weighing about 41,000 pounds, were installed over the summer about 22 feet above the roadway just ahead of the eastbound Holland Tunnel entrance (click here to watch the installation). For pedestrians in Jersey City, roadway improvements and upgraded intersections will improve street-level safety.

“Safety is always our top priority for the traveling public and our employees as we work to improve all aspects of customer service and make regional travel an easier, intuitive and modern experience,” said Rocco Cetera, a program director in the Port Authority’s Tunnels, Bridges and Terminals Department, which oversees all PA crossings.