The final gantry has been erected over the NYS Thruway, with plans to take the roadway cashless starting in November - including in Utica and Rome. Those without an EZ Pass could see a toll hike as well.

Previously, the NYS Thruway Authority announced the completion of the last of 70 gantries - the steel trusses spanning the roadway - that hold the cameras that will detect vehicles' EZ Pass or license plates. The plan is to switch to cashless tolling by the end of 2020.

Thruway Authority Executive Director Matt Driscoll tells WXXI News the system will be switched on "sometime in November" - activating over 2000 cameras that will ultimately replace human toll collectors.

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If you don't have an EZ Pass, you're going to want to get your hands on one, or you're likely to be paying more to travel the Thruway. EZ Pass holders will have tolls taken directly from their accounts, just like before, but drivers who rely on bills to be sent after cameras detect their license plates can expect to pay up to 30% more for tolls, under a plan submitted by the Thruway to hike tolls. That plan still needs to be finalized.

Credit: NYS Thruway Authority
Credit: NYS Thruway Authority

Motorists are encouraged to sign up for E-ZPass, which is the most convenient way to pay tolls on the Thruway. E-ZPass tags are sold at retail locations across the state and motorists can also sign up online.

Eventually, all the toll booths will be removed, allowing drivers to drive seamlessly along the Thruway without having to stop or slow down for tolls. The toll booths will be removed in phases, until then, drivers will still have to slow down as they pass through the booths. Toll collectors will either retire, or be redirected to other state agencies.

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