The driver of a Toyota Prius hybrid, below, still hasn't gotten the word about the Port Authority Green Pass toll discounts available to drivers of green cars. His E-ZPass, above, is white, the kind available to all drivers.

The sticker on the left says, "You just got passed by a hybrid." I don't know the meaning of the sticker on the right.



By VICTOR E. SASSON
EDITOR

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates in mysterious ways.

The bistate agency offers off-peak toll discounts to drivers of hybrid and all-electric cars as long as they obtain a special green-colored E-ZPass, called a Green Pass.

The New York State E-ZPass agency does the same, but doesn't honor Green Passes obtained from New Jersey.

A bigger break

But the Port Authority offers an even bigger toll discount valid 24/7 at all agency crossings -- not just during the restrictive off-peak hours -- and you don't need a green car to get it.

What you do need is a private E-ZPass account and a "carpool" -- defined as three occupants.

If you have a driver and passenger in the front seats, 
a dummy or dead body in the back might do.

And there are hoops to jump through:

You have to enroll your E-ZPass first, then come to a complete stop in a staffed cash/E-ZPass lane so that the toll collector can verify the number of occupants in the vehicle.

I usually say, "Carpool discount," and receive an acknowledgement.

The carpool toll is only $5 -- an E-ZPass discount of $4 or $6 all day long, weekdays and weekends -- but it's not available to commercial vehicles or fleets.

The Green Pass off-peak toll is $5.50.

Both plans are largely unpublicized.

For E-ZPass holders, the toll during peak hours is $11 (6 a.m.-10 a.m., 4 p.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday and Sundays, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.).

At other times, the off-peak E-ZPass toll is $9. The cash toll at all times is $13.

All Port Authority tolls are set to go up again this December and in December 2015, if a court challenge is unsuccessful.

E-ZPass in many states

The Port Authority Web site's E-ZPass page lists many states that issue the same or similar tags for paying tolls, including Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, Maryland, Illinois, Main and New Hampshire.

If you own a hybrid or green car in those states, check with your agency to see if you qualify for special toll discounts.

  

You need three people -- not a hybrid or electric car -- to get this toll discount

The driver of a Toyota Prius hybrid, below, still hasn't gotten the word about the Port Authority Green Pass toll discounts available to drivers of green cars. His E-ZPass, above, is white, the kind available to all drivers.

The sticker on the left says, "You just got passed by a hybrid." I don't know the meaning of the sticker on the right.



By VICTOR E. SASSON
EDITOR

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates in mysterious ways.

The bistate agency offers off-peak toll discounts to drivers of hybrid and all-electric cars as long as they obtain a special green-colored E-ZPass, called a Green Pass.

The New York State E-ZPass agency does the same, but doesn't honor Green Passes obtained from New Jersey.

A bigger break

But the Port Authority offers an even bigger toll discount valid 24/7 at all agency crossings -- not just during the restrictive off-peak hours -- and you don't need a green car to get it.

What you do need is a private E-ZPass account and a "carpool" -- defined as three occupants.

If you have a driver and passenger in the front seats, 
a dummy or dead body in the back might do.

And there are hoops to jump through:

You have to enroll your E-ZPass first, then come to a complete stop in a staffed cash/E-ZPass lane so that the toll collector can verify the number of occupants in the vehicle.

I usually say, "Carpool discount," and receive an acknowledgement.

The carpool toll is only $5 -- an E-ZPass discount of $4 or $6 all day long, weekdays and weekends -- but it's not available to commercial vehicles or fleets.

The Green Pass off-peak toll is $5.50.

Both plans are largely unpublicized.

For E-ZPass holders, the toll during peak hours is $11 (6 a.m.-10 a.m., 4 p.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday and Sundays, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.).

At other times, the off-peak E-ZPass toll is $9. The cash toll at all times is $13.

All Port Authority tolls are set to go up again this December and in December 2015, if a court challenge is unsuccessful.

E-ZPass in many states

The Port Authority Web site's E-ZPass page lists many states that issue the same or similar tags for paying tolls, including Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, Maryland, Illinois, Main and New Hampshire.

If you own a hybrid or green car in those states, check with your agency to see if you qualify for special toll discounts.

  

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