If you drive in New York City or plan on leaving Brooklyn to drive to Long Island's malls, to take the kids upstate to pick apples in the autumn, or to Newark Airport to catch a flight, you just might want to invest in an EZ Pass. If you don't, you will be waiting for a lengthy period of time to exchange money at a toll booth. Also if you're planning to visit Brooklyn on a road trip, it would be helpful to have an EZ Pass since you can use it across the country, so this isn't just limited to the NYC area.
What is an EZ Pass?
EZ Pass is an electronic toll collection system that allows drivers to prepay highway tolls, so you can go in the fast lane and not bother to stop at the toll plaza. It's widely used and as drivers know, it has three parts: an EZ Pass tag, which you put inside your vehicle; an overhead antenna at the toll booth which reads your tag electronically and deducts the amount of that toll from your account; and of course, video cameras to identify toll evaders.
Time is money. It's a time saver. And if there's a huge traffic jam, say on a summer weekend with New Yorkers fleeing to the beach, well, it can save you a lot of time. Although the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel (Brooklyn Battery Tunnel) now has cashless tolls, the other bridges and tunnels in NYC have not started this program yet. There is a good reason to get the EZ pass, as you know NYC is a city that never sleeps and moves quite fast, and you want to keep up with the activity.
How to Buy EZ Pass
- Buy EZ Pass online. The easiest way to access this money- and time-saving pass is to register online.
- You can get the EZ Pass at many major crossings in New York City but not the Brooklyn, Williamsburg or Manhattan Bridges. Why? Because these bridges still don't have a toll or a toll booth. That said, if you want to pick up an EZ Pass to either add to your account or start an account, you can purchase a "kit" for $30 from any of the following bridge and tunnel toll plazas cash lanes.
- Bronx-Whitestone Bridge
- Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge
- Hugh L. Carey Tunnel
- Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridges
- Queens Midtown Tunnel
- Robert F. Kennedy Bridge
- Throgs Neck Bridge
- Verrazano-Narrows Bridge
Customer Service Centers for EZ Pass
Finally for that personal touch, Brooklyn drivers might want to stop into the EZ Pass offices at these NY City and NY State locations:
- Queens -19-02 Whitestone Expressway Suite 101, College Pt.
- Staten Island - 1150 South Avenue Staten Island
- Yonkers - 730 McLean Avenue Yonkers
- Nanuet - 27 Rockland Plaza Corner of Route 59 & Middletown Road
Now that you have the EZ pass, you should keep in mind that traveling around Brooklyn with a car requires some planning. In many of the brownstone Brooklyn neighborhoods, there is limited parking and many meters have a two-hour time limit. You should also brush up on your parallel parking skills since it's required if you plan on parking in most Brooklyn neighborhoods. If you want to park in a garage, you will have to shell out around twenty-five dollars a day. However, please check if your hotel has partnered with a parking garage, which will make the trip much easier. If you do have a car, you will have easier access to remote parts of Brooklyn like Dyker Heights and Red Hook.
You'll also be able to utilize the parking lots at some establishments like Red Hook Fairway or other bigger stores that offer parking.
Edited by Alison Lowenstein