It will surely be a strange sight for many drivers, especially during these unprecedented times when social distancing and in-person interactions are limited.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced Thursday that cash toll collection will be temporarily restored for the next 18 months at the Lincoln Tunnel and at the upper level of the George Washington Bridge beginning Monday.
About 100 toll collectors will return to toll booths for more than a year while construction continues to transition the Lincoln Tunnel and George Washington Bridge from older tolling systems to more modern, all-electronic tolling technology.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, the PANY also announced that the booths interiors and common areas used by the toll collectors will receive frequent cleanings in order to ensure their safety. Additionally, employees will receive PPE and disinfectants to use while in their booths.
Meanwhile, discount programs that require in-person administration by toll attendants, like the carpool discount program, will be reinstated at the upper level of the George Washington Bridge and the Lincoln Tunnel while those toll booths are staffed.
Overall, cash toll collection at the Lincoln Tunnel and the George Washington Bridge will officially come to an end by mid-2022. It is around that time when the construction and installation of new tolling technology is expected to be completed. However, the nearby Holland Tunnel ceased cash toll collection on March 22. That tunnel will remain cashless as the installation of this modern technology will be completed in the next two months.
The Port Authority has already upgraded to an all-electronic tolling system, which uses overhead gantries in place of toll lanes and booths, at the Bayonne Bridge in 2017, at the Outerbridge Crossing in 2019, and at the Goethals Bridge in September 2019.