ASTORIA — Time to break out the E-ZPass.
Cashless tolling is coming to the Robert F. Kennedy-Triborough Bridge later this month, joining a growing number of city spans that are no longer accepting bills — a switch officials say will reduce congestion and speed up commutes.
Starting June 15, toll booths on the RFK Bridge will no longer take cash, and will instead automatically charge a driver's E-ZPass tag. Those without E-ZPass will have images of their license plate recorded, and a bill will then be sent to the car's registered owner, according to the MTA.
The cashless system is already in place on the Henry Hudson Bridge, Hugh L. Carey Tunnel, Queens Midtown Tunnel and the Rockaway bridges. They use sensors and cameras on gantry structures installed over the roadways so that drivers no longer have to stop at toll booths.
The MTA estimates that the change will save commuters up to 21 hours of driving time per year, and says it will be better for the environment because it will decrease the number of idling cars waiting at the city's bridge tolls.
The cashless system is being rolled out at all of the MTA's bridges and tunnels by the end of this year, and will go into effect on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in July, the Throgs Neck Bridge in September and the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge in October, officials said.
"I am excited to see cashless tolling come to the RFK Bridge," MTA Interim Executive Director Veronique Hakim said in a statement. "The benefits of this technology will provide customers with a smoother ride at all of our facilities, making it easier for New Yorkers to get where they need to go."
Officials are urging those who don't have E-ZPass to sign up for the service, which will save them between 30 to 50 percent on tolls. Otherwise, drivers will get a bill in the mail within 30 days, and will be subject to violation fines if their bills go unpaid.
For more information about the process, visit the MTA's website.