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Falls bridges adding E-ZPass


It's going to be a little easier to cross the three highway bridges around Niagara Falls later this summer, with the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission adding E-ZPass.

The bridge commission runs the Whirlpool, Rainbow and Lewiston-Queenston bridges.

Each carries substantial traffic although each is different: tourists on the Rainbow; commuters on the Whirlpool; trucks on the Lewiston Queenston.

There is also heavy use of Nexus security passes, especially on the Whirlpool where that's the only acceptable identification for crossing.

"We're going to E-ZPass to provide an additional service to the travelers who cross our international borders," said Commission GM Lew Holloway.

"E-ZPass is a convenient mechanism to collect tolls, especially for residents of New York and there are some Canadians who have E-ZPass. Also, our commercial truck drivers, a lot of them have E-ZPass."

Holloway says it's not cheap and not simple to add E-ZPass to the pass systems already on the bridges. There's also a fare discount for the payment passes. Even with Nexus, he says it's not clear that E-ZPass will speed traffic although money can be added to Nexus and ExpressPass to handle tolls at the same time.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.