“Many advocates have been calling for this for a long time and it’s a welcome move,” said Tom Wright, president of the Regional Plan Association.
With the instituting of the new system, the toll booths currently in place will be taken out, removing a link to a memorable chapter in New Jersey’s political history known as “Bridgegate.”
In 2013, traffic in Fort Lee, New Jersey, was snarled for several days when a group of Republican political operatives had some of the access lanes leading into the toll booths blocked in retaliation for a Democratic mayor not endorsing then-Gov. Chris Christie for reelection.
Christie was not charged with anything, but two people were convicted on federal charges. Those convictions were later overturned by the Supreme Court. Another who had pleaded guilty had that plea vacated.
The George Washington Bridge is a crossing point not only to get into New York City, but also for drivers using Interstate 95. The Port Authority said more than 49 million vehicles crossed eastbound over it last year, and it is the most used Hudson River crossing by trucks.
Cashless tolling has been in use at the Holland Tunnel since December 2020, and is expected to start at the Lincoln Tunnel later this year, the Port Authority said.
Wright said using an electronic system for tolls “serves more motorists faster and more efficiently.” But, he cautioned, that did not mean there would be no more congestion as vehicles converge to get across the span.