As of Saturday the 14th toll cards became a thing of the past on the New York State Thruway. Over time those cards and the toll workers that handed them out over the last 66 years will have to be explained to our kids and grandchildren.

My son thought I was joking when I told him that we only had 1 computer in my high school. I also explained that when I was his age (18) the only phone in the entire house was avocado green and it sat in the living room. This information prompted my son to ask, "How old are you?". The things we take for granted today could be gone tomorrow and we will miss them.

As you may have seen traveling through the Capital Region the last several days, the toll plazas are abandoned and the booths are as empty as a phone booth. Now the removal process begins. Six toll plazas should be removed by the new year and a total of 52 toll plazas and more than 250 toll booths gone by Summer of 2021.

So what happens now? Sadly, many of us that were not among the approximately 1100 toll workers will simply buzz underneath the cameras and sensors that read our plates or E-Z Pass and literally move along without giving it much more thought. It will be the "new normal".

The Thruway Authority has had toll workers since the plazas opened in 1954. Today all you need is a license plate or an E-Z Pass. Keep in mind the toll rate will increase 30% in January so maybe that E-Z Pass is the way to go. I'll make that decision later.

For now, I will miss my 20 second interaction apologizing while digging for change. I genuinely enjoyed the most simple, "thank you, have a nice day.". How could you not?



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