Maria Malone-Hodges



Bayonne Bridge, Staten Island. After many years of planning and strategizing, the Port Authority was about to launch a new technology to collect tolls at the stroke of midnight, Sunday June 29, 1997.

While E-ZPass had been operational at other toll agencies in the region, this was the Port Authority’s inauguration into electronic toll collection. The Bayonne Bridge was selected to be the first facility for this sequential implementation of E-ZPass across the agency’s six crossings. As the Assistant Manager of SIB, I was thrilled to be part of this exciting project. For weeks and months prior to the roll out, the E-ZPass system had been exhaustively end-to end tested by the expert technology personnel. Facility maintenance staff worked in conjunction with the technology staff to ensure electrical and mechanical systems were fully capable to handle this new technology. Prior to roll out, enrollment in the E-ZPass program was very actively promoted by the Customer Services staff through various outreach programs. Tolls and Operations staff had been given hands-on training in the day-to-day running of the system.

The stage was now set, all the key components were poised to become operational. Staff was present on the toll plaza that day and night to ensure a smooth transition. All that was needed now was to press the arrow key on the computer terminal in the toll house to go live and enter a new world of toll collection. The key was pressed, the E-ZPass curtain sign scrolled up. Hooray, it’s operational, we’re in a new era of toll collection!



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