Cashless tolling problems are not limited to the Grand Island bridges

Aug 22, 2018

The Thruway Authority is catching flack over cashless tolling well beyond the Grand Island bridges. The company running EZPass, in New York, has been having problems with its system across the state and around the nation.

The Thruway Authority's South Grand Island Bridges
Credit bridgeofweek.com

The Thruway Authority has paid Conduent, the owner of EZPass, more than $200 million, since 2007 to run cashless tolling. But State Senator David Carlucci (D-Westchester, Rockland) of the Hudson Valley says it has been "an absolute disaster" on the Tappan Zee Bridge.

Carlucci says thousands of drivers were never billed for tolls. But when they cross the span some are hit with $100 fines.
    
"It's absolutely ludicrous. And people didn't even know about these fines. So within a month you could have over $3,000 in fines that you didn't even know about. That's just the fines. That's not the $5 tolls," Carlucci said. 

Sen. David Carlucci - with the Tappan Zee Bridge in the background - says he had to file a Freedom of Information Request to see the Thruway Authority's 1,500 page contact with Conduent. But Carlucci says hundreds of pages were redacted.
Credit Sen. Carlucci's office

Out-of-state drivers don't have much to worry about.  
    
"But if you're a New York state resident you can still get your vehicle registration suspended if you don't pay your tolls within a certain period of time." Carlucci said there's no accountability and state lawmakers have no say in the company's contract.
    
"I think that's something that's wrong. When we're talking about hundred of millions of dollars that is disappearing from our infrastructure, is not going to repave roads. It's going to Conduent corporation," Calucci said.   
 
Along with Assemblyman Tom Abinanti (D-Greenbush/Mt. Pleasant) Carlucci is calling on the Thruway Authority to cancel its contract with Conduent. 

The company is also facing a class action lawsuit by thousands of drivers in California. U.S. Senators from Florida and Michigan are calling for a federal investigation of the company's operation in their states.

WBFO's requests for comment from the Thruway Authority and Conduent have not been returned.