Carpool discounts and cash are a thing of the past as the Holland Tunnel became the first Port Authority Hudson River crossing to go cashless using new overhead gantries that have been under construction since summer.

The gantries, each 130 feet long, 41,000 pounds and 22 feet above the road, will allow drivers to maintain highway speed as they pass underneath. Non-E-ZPass drivers will still be sent a bill. The Port Authority will also introduce the new Tolls NY app to keep track of cashless toll transactions, eliminating the need for a bill to be mailed.

The Holland Tunnel has been cashless since spring when toll takers were pulled from all toll booths at the Hudson River crossings in the mid-March at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. While 100 toll takers returned to the Lincoln Tunnel and George Washington Bridge in October, the Holland Tunnel remained cashless.

The new gantries also means the end of carpool discounts at the Holland Tunnel, according to Port Authority spokeswoman Amanda Kwan. The discount required a manual count of how many passengers were inside a vehicle. The Port Authority said there is no way to accurately count but U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J. 5th District, said in February that technology to make an accurate count is being studied in California, Georgia and Minnesota.

Kwan said no decision about discounts at the GWB has been made as the new technology has not been activated.

The number of crashes at the toll plazas are expected to go down by 75% once all six crossings are cashless. The Lincoln Tunnel is next to go cashless followed by the George Washington Bridge within the next 18 months. The Outerbridge Crossing, Bayonne Bridge and Goethals Bridge have been cashless since 2019.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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