Cash accepted on some highways, but not Turnpike or Parkway
Cash is making a comeback on some New Jersey toll roads, but two of the state's most-trafficked will continue to accept only electronic payments for a while longer.
All New Jersey roads, bridges and crossings stopped accepting cash and left toll booths unmanned in March, in an effort to eliminate contact between drivers and toll-takers and slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The bridges of the Delaware River Port Authority — the Commodore Barry Bridge, the Walt Whitman Bridge, the Ben Franklin Bridge and the Betsy Ross Bridge — were the first toll roads to resume taking cash, on Monday morning.
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Toll collectors will be wearing face coverings, and protective plastic shields similar to the ones used in many stores have been installed in the windows of toll booths.
The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission will begin accepting cash at its crossings, such as Route 1 in Trenton, Route 202 and Route 78, at 11 p.m. on Wednesday night. Toll collectors will be provided plastic face shields, masks, and nitrile gloves.
Both agencies ask driver to wear face coverings when paying for tolls with cash.
The New Jersey Turnpike Authority continues to collect all tolls either by E-ZPass or by a temporary toll-by-mail process on the Turnpike and Garden State Parkway, according to spokesman Tom Feeney.
"We are actively monitoring the situation and plan to resume cash collections as soon as it is prudent to do so," Feeney told New Jersey 101.5.
The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission said it started working through a backlog of invoices that should be received via mail by non-E-Z Pass customers by May 21.
Additional fees will be incurred for non-payment, the agency warned.
The Port Authority said it will not accept cash at the George Washington Bridge and the Holland and Lincoln Tunnels until executive orders are lifted by Gov. Phil Murphy and New York Gov. Mario Cuomo.
The first area toll system to go cashless during the pandemic, the Pennsylvania Turnpike, has no immediate plans to take cash at its tolls.
"We will continue electronic toll collections until it is safe and practical to return to normal operations," spokeswoman Kathleen Walter said.
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