Toll discounts for green cars and carpools are a little less attractive starting Sunday

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey toll discounts for drivers of the Tesla Model S and other green cars will be less generous, starting on Sunday.


I'm planning to drive my Toyota Prius gas-electric hybrid across the George Washington Bridge and into midtown Manhattan on Sunday, the first day of a toll increase.

Under the Port Authority's restrictive toll-discount plans, I will be denied the reward given drivers of low- and zero-emissions cars, but will qualify for the even better "carpool" discount.

Go figure.

Owners of all-electric cars and gas-electric hybrids get a break only during off-peak hours -- and that's before 11 a.m. and after 9 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

On weekdays, off-peak hours are before 6 a.m., between 10:01 a.m. and 3:59 p.m., and after 9 p.m.

The carpool discount, on the other hand, is available 24/7, as long as you have a total of three people in the car.

Both plans require you to have an E-ZPass, register it ahead of time and for the carpool discount, you also have to stop in a cash lane so that a toll collector can verify the number of people in your car.

Owners of green cars also need to obtain a special green E-ZPass to get their special discount (Green Pass).

During off-peak hours, the driver of a Toyota Prius gas-electric hybrid, right, pays less to cross the George Washington Bridge than the driver of a late-model Lexus.

What you save

On Sunday, the off-peak toll discount for green cars is going up to $6.25 from $5.50. 

Other drivers will pay an off-peak toll of $9.75, up from $9. The peak toll will go up on Sunday to $11.75 from $11.

The 24/7 carpool discount is going up on Sunday to $5.75, from $5.

This is the fourth annual and next-to-last scheduled toll hike on Port Authority crossings. 

See: Tolls effective Dec. 7, 2014, at 3 a.m.

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