Think you’re paying sky high prices for gas these days? Wait till you hit the road, I mean, wait till you hit the toll roads and see how much the states are going to charge you for using their roadways. Somebody has to make up their deficits. Might as well be YOU.

Our EzPass is set to re-charge when the holding amount drops to $10. Our EZ Pass replenishes at $25, typically once per month. Imagine my surprise when hubby and I took a four day trip down to Maryland. I kept getting emails that $25 was deducted off my charge card to replenish my EZ Pass balance. When I got back home, I logged onto my account and this is what I saw: a negative balance of $13 despite three replenishments totaling $75!

Driving from upstate New York, through New Jersey, down into Delaware and over to Maryland cost me a total of $83.45 in tolls!!!!! WTF?

Apparently, it was New Jersey that was the culprit. They charged me $27.55 in tolls driving south on their New Jersey Thruway and $26.20 driving north, back home to New York. That’s a total of $53.75 for the privilege of driving on their pot hole infested, trucking clogged, sub-prime roadways. New York, on the other hand, one of the highest tax collecting states in America, only charged me $5.00 and $3.35 respectively. Crossing over the Delaware bridge was $10 EACH WAY!

And after all of that, my EZ Pass was overdrawn by $13. When I got home I had to manually deposit another $25 to make my transponder whole again and cover the deficit!

What does all of this mean? Hold onto your wallets ladies and gentlemen as you prepare to hit the roads this summer for your long awaited vacation. I heard that Virginia’s tolls are higher even still if you dare to enter their fast lanes! What we are going to do on our end is twofold:

  1. We won’t be traveling through New Jersey ever again. Next time we have to drive down south, we will go through Pennsylvania.
  2. We will now set our GPS to take only non-toll roads when we have a long drive ahead of us. This may mean longer travel times. We’ll see. In any event, we won’t be paying high toll fees ever again.

Here in New York, starting April 11th, our tolls were raised again, for a second time. The first being January 1, 2021. Our raise, however, is nothing like what transpired in New Jersey. That $1.35 NY toll used to be $1.25 ($1.75 if you do not have an EZ Pass transponder). Many of our toll booths are now being un-manned and going cashless, relying heavily on having a transponder. We will even get hit with a $100 fine if our transponders are not properly placed on our windshields as per NYS Guidelines. Not having a transponder at all will give you triple the cost of what the bill might have been with the transponder. Also, if you’re a “new” transponder owner, your tolls will be a little bit higher than a long time user. Can you imagine? What will they think of next?

Here’s how the toll increase will work: The toll for a standard, New York-based E-ZPass users will increase from the current $4.75 to $5.25 in 2021 and $5.75 in 2022. For tolls billed by mail (AKA non-E-ZPass users), the toll will increase from the current $5 to $6.83 in 2021 and $7.48 in 2022. Dec 2, 2020 NY Thruway/Cuomo Bridge

If you don’t have an EZ Pass, my advice is don’t come to New York. You’re a target:

The rate hikes proposed for individuals traveling without an E-ZPass along the Thruway are now official.

The State Thruway Authority passed its budget Tuesday morning, along with a motion to increase tolls for drivers who don’t have the pass.

If you do have an E-ZPass, your rates don’t change. But if you don’t, then starting January 1, 2021 you will see a 30% increase for tolls.  

That bill will now be mailed to you, with the cashless tolling system going into place last month.

If you have an out of state E-ZPass, you’re also going to be charged 15% more than the New York rate. And large trucks will have to pay 20% more than the passenger rate.

The Thruway is still going to offer a commuter rate for the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, which is 40% below the E-ZPass rate, but the price tag for that pass will also go up 50 cents.

My oldest daughter and I stopped visiting each other last year, prior to the pandemic. My daughter lives 1.5 hours away from me in Brooklyn (about 100 miles or so). We have to pass through Manhattan and Manhattan tolls in order to visit with her. Round trip tolls to visit my daughter is $60. Gulp. We could try to get in to Brooklyn via New Jersey but now that is totally out of the question. Should my daughter, husband and granddaughter want to take the train up to visit with me, that amount comes to $75. These figures are from two years ago. I can only imagine what these costs would be today.

Hold onto your steering wheels people. It’s going to be a bumpy, expensive ride wherever you may want to go.

Like this post? Sign up for free emails whenever I write a new post. You can also follow this blog, for free. Sign up links are posted on the upper right hand corner. I also accept donations when you buy me a cup of coffee and a croissant. Links are posted on the right hand side wall. Thanks for reading my blog!