2007_05_tollplaza.jpgRemember how the Port Authority wanted to put Geico ads on various toll booths at the George Washington Bridge? Maybe it's a good thing that plan was scotched, because now the Port Authority is considering elmination of tollbooths at all Hudson River crossings. From the NY Sun:

The plan, which is expected to reduce traffic bottlenecks on the highways leading into the city, would complement Mayor Bloomberg's proposal to charge drivers a fee to use the city's most crowded streets, Port officials said. The Port Authority would use the same camera technology to charge drivers that the city is planning to use if it implements congestion pricing.

Instead, drivers would use EZ Pass technology or have bills mailed to their homes. PA Executive Director Anthony Shorris said, "An all-electronic toll system would be a tremendous boon to our road-transportation system, helping to smooth the choke points at bridges and tunnels, reduce traveler delays and potentially prove a benefit to regional air quality.... Couple cashless tolling with real-time traffic management systems and we’ll no longer rely on 1010 WINS to tell people delay times and the best routes.” Don't worry, 1010 WINS, there will still be enough traffic elsewhere for you!

But first, the PA will conduct a feasibility study to see how the booths would be taken out and much time actually will be saved. According to a transportation consultant who spoke to the NY Times, "a toll collector can take cash from up to 400 vehicles an hour, while an E-ZPass lane with drivers traveling under 25 miles an hour can handle about 1,400."

The PA is also considering "dynamic pricing," aka charging different Manhattan entrance tolls based on congestion.