New York State Will Get Rid of Toll Booths (in 2020) and it’s About Damn Time

There’s nothing more therapeutic than a long drive with the right playlist. Gas prices aren’t too bad, so at this point it’s cheaper than a therapist. I also travel across the state of a lot for work, I go West and I go to New York City on a bi-weekly basis. But we all know that once you leave the Capital Region, you hit the inevitable toll booth.

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Toll booths aren’t ever a problem for me as long as I have my EZPass locked and loaded. But for some reason, shit always seems to hit the fan. Either I use a different car, somehow screw up my EZPass auto pay (don’t ask) or I go through the toll booth at 30MPH instead of 20 and get a $50 ticket three weeks later in the mail. But god forbid you don’t have an EZPass because then, toll booths are what nightmares are made of.

I drove to New Jersey last weekend in a rental (my car, Lorraine, is down for the count in the shop) and felt that I was being absolutely bombarded by toll booths. They never stopped coming. It’s a constant buzz of anxiety as I wonder if I have enough dollar bills to keep me alive. What happens if I don’t have money? Do I turn around? Offer the guy some of my McDonalds in lieu?

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And you know the craziest part? I don’t know if this was just a Jersey thing or if toll booths have just lost their MINDS but I passed one that had no toll booth attendant, just a toilet bowl dispenser where you needed $1.50 ON THE DOT in CHANGE. I NEVER have $1.50 in change on me. I’m credit card or bust. Now I have 50 cars waiting on me in the rearview and I gotta scrap up $1.50 or do something criminal?

I’m sweating. This literally put me in a tizzy. Good thing my girlfriend had that magical “found it at the bottom of my purse” moment or else I was ready to hang up my hat and fly through the gate.

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But now, that anxiety can be put to ease, good ole’ Governor Cuomo announced at the State of the State that toll booths on the New York State Thruway will soon be a thing of the past. And by soon, I mean by 2020. I don’t understand why we have to wait so long since Massachusetts was able to get their shit together and do this on the Mass Turnpike pretty quickly, but we all know it will be well worth the wait. I guess I will just have to save the spare change for a few more years of close calls.

Cuomo said in his announcement the changes he is proposing could save New Yorkers millions of hours on the road.

“By eliminating the need to stop at a toll, this technology improves the driving experience, speeds traffic flow, and benefits those who live near toll collection points by reducing congestion-related emissions,” the governor’s office said in a statement.

And a shit load of anxiety.

Thanks, Cuomo.



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