Driving in New York is already becoming every driver’s worst nightmare, not just because of the incessant traffic one has to deal with daily, but also because it is becoming increasingly expensive by the day. With administrators looking for every possible means to reduce intracity route congestion, the introduction of EZ Pass NY may have reduced the traffic situation, but it has also made tolls a lot more expensive.
Tolls in the Empire State rise and fall from time to time, and if you drive through some of the city’s tolls daily, you will accumulate quite a huge bill over time. To reduce your expenses, however, there are smart ways to avoid tolls when driving in New York. In this short article, we will show you simple methods you can adopt to make driving in New York a lot less expensive.
How to Avoid Tolls?
It doesn’t matter whether you have an EZ Pass NY or not. We all like to save money whenever we possibly can. If you could save a few hundred dollars every month, wouldn’t you? Here are five simple ways to save money on tolls.
#1 Know where the Big Tolls are
If you know where the big tolls are, you will be able to avoid using them if you have the luxury of time. While on your journey, you can switch routes if you are familiar with the area you are heading towards.
#2 Use Online Tools
Online Tools like Google Maps come in handy if you are looking to avoid New York tolls. There are also websites you can use to spot where tolls are if you don’t know the route by heart. You can use Google Maps to search for roads without tolls.
#3 Use only Toll-Free bridges if you can
Having an active EZ Pass NY tag is great, but if you can use toll-free bridges, it will do your EZ Pass account balance a favor. Certain tolls in the city are priced heavily, so you may need to drive within boroughs to avoid them. Some of these bridges are toll-free.
- The Manhattan Bridge
- The Williamsburg Bridge
- The Brooklyn Bridge
- The Queensboro Bridge
#4 Don’t Use the Turnpike
If you regularly drive into New York, try as much as possible to avoid the Jersey Turnpike. New Jersey’s Turnpike can be extremely expensive and will cost you quite a lot if you use it regularly over a sustained period. To avoid this toll, use Route 1/9 and Route 1. These tolls attract no tolls whatsoever.
#5 Use Alternative routes
Last but not the least on our list is the use of alternative routes to about New York tolls. There are various ways of doing this. You can search for back roads to connect a route just after the toll, which will most likely be a toll-free road. You can also forego using the highways altogether by driving through intra-city streets and residential areas. These routes may cost you a lot of time, but you save money all the time.
Is it a crime to avoid toll roads?
Avoiding toll roads is not a crime. The criminal act is when you use the toll and don’t pay for it. Even then, such an act is regarded as a misdemeanor and not a Class A crime. Avoiding tolls is just like avoiding taxes. Like economists will tell you, tax evasion and tax avoidance are not the same. A person who evades tax absconds from the liability. However, a person who avoids taxes simply avoids the utility that will attract a tax. Avoiding taxed utility is not a crime.
The case is similar to toll roads. If you decide not to ply a tolled route but prefer to take alternative routes to save toll payments, you save money, but you break no law.
Why some motorists avoid/prefer toll roads?
There are many reasons why some motorists in New York avoid toll roads if they can while others prefer them. It is not always easy or possible, but to avoid toll roads, many drivers still try. The reason for this is down to the cost-effectiveness of using the toll roads in the first place. As you already know, toll roads are constructed to ease traffic and to reduce traveling time. However, the time saved on trips is not always commensurate with the money spent on tolls. Let us give an example.
For instance, if it takes you 10 minutes to drive through a toll road from point A to point B and 15 minutes to drive from point A to point B (without using the toll road), the toll road appears to be the better option right? This seems right at first glance, but when you factor in the cost, you might change your mind. Paying $10 to get a 5 minutes headstart doesn’t look like a good investment, especially if you are not in a hurry to get to your destination.
Some drivers just want to save money they don’t have to spend on toll payments. It’s as simple as that.
On the other hand, some motorists believe that using EZ Pass toll roads is a great way to save money on fuel, but is this really true? It depends on several factors. Using the same examples in the last paragraph, how many liters of fuel will you save by spending 5 minutes less on the road? The answer is not clear cut, isn’t it? Toll roads are good for the environment as they aid in the reduction of carbon emissions, but beyond that, you can’t be so sure that using toll roads is a significant energy-saving measure.
When you are in New York, saving some extra cash on your EZ Pass NY is possible if you adhere to some of the options we have provided in this article.