Thursday, September 16, 2010

Bridges & Tunnels - to Pay the Way or Go Free


When I first moved to the city, I drove my old 1984 Toyota Corolla. I remember the first time driving from Manhattan to Brooklyn. I didn't have any cash on me (I wasn't too responsible those days with having money!) and on the drive from Manhattan to Brooklyn with my nifty map and maquest directions, I came upon the Brooklyn Bridge.  I drove hesitantly in the beginning, suddenly realizing that I was in big trouble if there was a toll. I tried to think quick, I looked for a U turn, nope no u turn. I tried to spot an EZPass sign or a Cash Only sign showing a toll coming, nothing, so maybe no toll. As I got to the end of the bridge, I felt so much relief as I saw signs for the Brooklyn Queens Expressway, which meant I was over one bridge without a toll. While I was thankful I didn't have go to jail or have a monstrous penalty mailed to me for not paying a toll, it did pretty much ruin my first ride over the Brooklyn Bridge. Nowadays if I drive over, its a gorgeous view looking a the South Street Seaport and the water below. So to save you from a horrific ride over a Bridge or through a Tunnel, (or from going to jail, and a penalty being mailed) I thought I'd list the bridges in NYC that charge, what they charge and the ones that don't.

Going into Manhattan -

Lincoln Tunnel - (as referenced in the movie Elf is how I like to think about it, not the stuffy jampacked tunnel that it is!)
Cost for entering into Manhattan through Lincoln Tunnel - 8$.
Cost for exiting into NJ from Manhattan - 0$! Which is the only FREE way out of NYC and the one we always take!

Going into Manhattan from Brooklyn and into Brooklyn from Manhattan -

Brooklyn Battery Tunnel - now the toll is 5.50$ each way. It is way too much but can beat traffic if you are in super hurry. I always like to take one of the next two options. Can access from the Brooklyn Queens Expressway going East from Brooklyn towards Manhattan.

Brooklyn Bridge - (now my favorite) no toll! FREE! Can access the Bridge from lower Manhattan or from the FDR which is the highway that runs along the east side of Manhattan.

Williamsburg Bridge - no toll! FREE! Can access the Bridge from the FDR.

Manhattan Bridge - Love this one because there is usually very little traffic. no toll! FREE! Can access the Bridge from Brooklyn Queens Expressway going East from Brooklyn towards Manhattan (just past Brooklyn Bridge entrance).

Going from Manhattan to Queens and Queens to Manhattan -

Queens Midtown Tunnel - Can access from midtown 50th Sts on the East side of Manhattan to Long Island City Queens. Cost is 5.50$ each way.

Queensboro Bridge - no toll! FREE! Goes from 59th St on the East side of Manhattan to Long Island City Queens.

From Brooklyn to NJ -

Verranzano Bridge - Can access on the Brooklyn Queens Expressway going West. Charge is 11$ going out to NJ (which is just ridiculous I think), so one way 11$. There is no charge with the bridge coming in from Jersey, but there is a bridge called the Goethals Bridge that you must take to get back onto the Verranzano Bridge. Goethals charges 8$ one way coming into Brooklyn only.  If you take this way you are adding about 20$ to your travelling costs!

From Manhattan to the Bronx -

Bronx Whitestone Bridge - This is the major bridge going to Manhattan from the Bronx and to the Bronx from Manhattan via a highway called I678. Each direction is 5.50$.

No bridges or tunnels needed to go between Brooklyn and Queens.

Good Luck with your driving! I hope you're first experience is alittle better than mine was!


  1. Thank you for a local's perspective on one of my favorite cities! I'm looking forward to following you and reading more of your blog.

    Jo Frances (blog hopping from BlogFrog)

  2. You are always so darn helpful! Now...come here and do our bridges so we can meet!

  3. Wow that makes me not want to drive in New York, sounds confusing.

    Thanks for coming by my blog today.

  4. Wow such a big difference in where you live compared to where I do. I'm from good a suburban town and the big city isn't huge like NYC. I so want to travel there someday!

    That was a good idea to list the toll fees btw!

  5. All the bridges in Northern, CA cost money. One thing I would like to do is walk across the Golden Gate bridge. Which is orange by the way.


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