I Want to Kiss the Inventor of Cashless Tolling on the Mouth
The transformation is complete! We've been patiently waiting as all of our Hudson Valley bridges have been slowly converted to cashless-billing, and today, March 1st, 2022, the Mid-Hudson Bridge crossed the finish line as the last local bridge to ditch the tollbooth, and I'm not above a physical thank-you to whoever made it happen.
A Government Project That Finished On Time?
You read that right. The first reason I'm ready to make the New York State Bridge Authority blush is that they actually finished their project within the estimated timeline. The original announcements targeted "Spring 2022" as its completion date, and by my calendar, that's still a few weeks out. Looks like somebody deserves a special surprise.
It's Doing What It's Actually Supposed to Do
The main goal of cashless tolling was to reduce traffic on the bridge and surrounding roads. I know this is only the first day, but I'm happy to report that it seems to be working. Even with dozens of cones corralling cars into two defunct toll lanes, it was a BREEZE making my way on to the bridge this morning during rush hour. Not only were we able to avoid merging bottlenecks, but there wasn't a single car stuck in an E-ZPass-only lane. Just thinking about it is making me fall a little bit in love with the architects behind this plan.
But What If I Don't Have E-ZPass
First, sorry about the rock you've apparently been living under. Second, if you insist on living in the past, no need to worry. As if I needed another reason to throw myself at these road bureaucrats, they say they're willing to let literally anyone on the bridge; they'll just send you a bill in the mail.
I Meant What I Said
Listen, I'm a man of my word. I don't know who's idea this initially was, or who made sure the project stayed on track, but I'd like to invite them BOTH to dinner, my treat. We'll have a little wine by candlelight and see where the night takes us. Someone needs to make sure you're properly thanked 😘.
A More G-Rated Way To Show Appreciation
Not into the love language of physical touch, but still want to say thank you? There are several ways to do it according to Chris Stebler, Public Information Officer of the NYSBA:
I would suggest you give a thumbs up to our maintenance workers who are out on the bridge each day, maintaining them to the highest standards. You can also say hello to some of our former toll collectors, who recently transitioned to new Security Technician positions and will continue working on-site at the bridges so they can continue to keep them safe and assist patrons.
That just leaves more action for me.