TIP: EZPasses and “Discount Deception”

If your frequently drive in New York – your toll bill may be higher than you thought.

New York / New Jersey crossings operated by MTA offer an EZPass discount – but only if it was issued by a New York agency.  If your EZPass was issued by the NJTA or the SJTA, you are charged the cash rate instead.

The issue was highlighted in June when AAA issued a report on the matter. “Drivers who cross the same bridge and pay the same way should be charged the same amount.” said Robert Sinclair Jr. of AAA Northeast in a CBS.com article  The report called on states to end what they called “Discount Deception”

Here is a list of crossings managed by the MTA that do not offer a discount to NJ EZPass holders:

  • Bronx-Whitestone Bridge
  • Throgs Neck Bridge
  • Robert F. Kennedy Bridge
  • Hugh L. Carrey Tunnel
  • Queens Midtown Tunnel
  • Verrazano-Narrows Bridge
  • Henry Hudson Bridge
  • Cross Bay Bridge
  • Marine Parkway Bridge

A New York-issued EZPass is available to all drivers regardless of the state in which they live. One recommendation from officials is to switch to a New York EZPass. Unfortunately this forces drivers to have to decide between receiving discounts in thier home state or discounts in New York.

Another suggestion from officials is to get two EZPasses, one from each state, in order to receive all of the maximum discounts. Apparently, the expectation is a driver will take down the first EZPass, swap it out with the second EZPass, put the first one in the protective sleeve so it is not accidentally read, and mount the second one. But doing the hokey-pokey with EZPasses will likely mean distracted driving.

Currently, only the Port Authority of New York / New Jersey honors discounts for EZPasses issued in both states.