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Cashless Tolls Coming To MTA Bridges, Tunnels In 2017

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced toll gates on New York City's bridges and tunnels will be eliminated next year.

Starting in January, tollbooths on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's seven bridges and two tunnels will be replaced with an electronic scanning system, CBS2's Alex Denis reported.

Signs on the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge are already alerting drivers of what is to come as part of a $100 billion transportation overhaul.

"It's the largest single investment in infrastructure in the state's history," Cuomo said.

Electronic devices will collect money from drivers through E-ZPass, or a bill will be sent in the mail for those who pay with cash. The cameras can also snap photos of license plates at any speed and in any weather.

Automatic tolling is already in effect on the Henry Hudson Bridge, the Tappan Zee Bridge and elsewhere around the country.

The Queens–Midtown and Brooklyn-Battery tunnels will be the first to go tollbooth free, followed by the Rockaway bridges in the spring; the RFK and Verrazano–Narrows bridges in the summer, with the Whitestone and Throgs Neck bridges completed in the fall.

"The upside is it's faster, it speeds traffic, saves the average commuter 21 hours per year," Cuomo said. "Think about that, you get a day back per year."

Drivers with three violations within five years will have their registration suspended.

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