New ExpressPass unveiled for trucks crossing Lewiston-Queenston bridge
March 18, 2011
LEWISTON, N.Y. -- The Niagara Falls Bridge Commission, operator of three of the four Niagara River bridges between Western New York and Southern Ontario, has unveiled its new ExpressPass for trucks crossing the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge to help...
LEWISTON, N.Y. — The Niagara Falls Bridge Commission, operator of three of the four Niagara River bridges between Western New York and Southern Ontario, has unveiled its new ExpressPass for trucks crossing the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge to help reduce wait times for all motorists.
As the first commercial automatic crossing pass of its kind on a northern border bridge, the ExpressPass program is expected to serve 270 trucking companies using some 15,000 individual trucks and tractor-trailers that pay the one-way toll into Canada at the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge.
“The new commercial ExpressPass is the fastest way through the toll booths and will help commercial vehicles operate more efficiently by reducing the time they spend crossing these bridges,” said Lew Holloway, NFBC general manager. “When commercial trucks spend less time in line and paying tolls, it saves them time, fuel and money, while reducing overall congestion for everyone else as well.”
The ExpressPass for commercial vehicles utilizes two fully automated, unmanned toll booths. The driver pulls up to a booth and flashes the ExpressPass card – essentially a debit card – at the designated sensor. The system then deducts the appropriate amount of money from a pre-deposited account maintained by enrolled truckers, counts the pre-registered number of axles on the truck, and up- or down-charges for more or fewer axles as needed. There is a Web-based account management system that allows companies to manage their commercial account online.
“This is essentially a VIP line for truckers. We created the commercial ExpressPass system in-house and it is the first of its kind to be used on the northern border,” said Victor Montalbo, NFBC manager of administration and finance. “The response we received from those who helped us during the testing and pilot phase has been overwhelmingly positive because this system will help them better meet their budgetary needs and shipping deadlines.”
The program was first tested for several months with Cassens Transport, a Lewiston, N.Y.-based car transporter, said Kathy Majka, Cassens Transport supervisor.
“We have had nothing but positive feedback from our Canadian and US drivers,” she said. “This new program is a boost for productivity and has greatly reduced our drivers’ down time waiting to cross the border. Definitely a win-win situation for all involved.”
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