Avoid Tolls From DC to NYC
To lower your traveling expenses, avoid tolls from DC to NYC. Traveling is expensive these days. Between the ever rising cost of gasoline, travel tolls, regular car maintenance, and any food you purchase along the way, weekend road trip expenses can quickly add up. We were searching for a way to keep our travel expenses to New York as low as possible. This lead us to research alternate ways to travel to New York City from the Washington DC area.
Although we participate in the E-ZPass system, an electronic toll collection system that services roads, bridges, and tunnels in the Northeast, the toll fees have steadily risen over the years. Paying cash for toll roads while traveling to New York City is more expensive than using an E-ZPass device. You save but it is still expensive. The E-ZPass Toll costs traveling between DC and New York City round trip are about $75. Gasoline for a round trip to NYC can cost between $75 to $90 based on the price of a gallon of gasoline.
If you are in DC and need to travel to New York City but the thought of paying all those tolls prevents you from visiting the Big Apple …. Well, consider traveling an alternate route.
Avoid Tolls From DC to NYC – Lower Manhattan
To minimize toll fees you pay consider this alternative route and save money on your next road trip to the Big Apple.
- From Washington DC, Travel North on I-95 towards Baltimore.
- Before reaching Baltimore, take the Baltimore Beltway, Interstate 695-W towards Towson, Maryland. You will bypass the Fort McHenry Tunnel in Baltimore.
- Take Interstate 83 North from the Baltimore Beltway (I-695) towards York and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
- Continue on I-83 North in Pennsylvania until you reach York, Pennsylvania.
- York, Pennsylvania take exit 21-A for US 30 towards Lancaster.
- Lancaster, Pennsylvania take US 222 North to Reading, Pennsylvania.
- Reading, Pennsylvania continue North on US 222 to Allentown, Pennsylvania.
- Allentown, Pennsylvania take Interstate 78 East towards New Jersey.
- In New Jersey, continue on Interstate 78 toward Newark.
- Continue on Interstate 78 for New York City via the Holland Tunnel. The Holland Tunnel will take you into Lower Manhattan.
Avoid Tolls From DC to NYC – Midtown Manhattan
If you are interested in traveling to Midtown Manhattan you will need to take a different path from I-78. In Newark right after the Newark Liberty International Airport take the New Jersey Turnpike North – Interstate 95 North. Follow signs to the Lincoln Tunnel. You can use the Lincoln Tunnel to cross over the Hudson River into Midtown Manhattan.
Bronx or New England Travel
If you are interested in traveling to the Bronx (north of Upper West Side) or New England take the New Jersey Turnpike North – Interstate 95 North right after you pass the Newark Liberty International Airport. Follow the signs to the George Washington Bridge which is I-95. The lighted signs will indicate the estimated time to cross the George Washington Bridge on the upper and lower levels. The lower level is local and exclusively for cars. Trucks must use the upper level.
Port Authority of NY and NJ – Bridges and Tunnels Tolls
You will pay a toll for crossing the Holland Tunnel, Lincoln Tunnel, or the George Washington Bridge into New York City. Paying cash is the most expensive way to enter New York City from New Jersey by car. You can save money if you use an E-ZPass system and you can save even more if you travel during off-peak time periods. Off-peak time periods are weekdays after 10 am and before 4 pm. You can check the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey website for additional toll fee information.
Travel from New York City into New Jersey, there are no tolls assessed on the Holland Tunnel, Lincoln Tunnel, or the George Washington Bridge. If you use the New Jersey Turnpike, there are toll fees assessed based on the travel distance you use.
Something to consider, Interstate 95 North when traveling from Washington DC to New York City you have access to numerous rest areas along I-95. These rest areas have gasoline, various food options, coffee, and bathroom facilities with easy access from I-95.
Limited Rest Stops
Using the alternative route listed above, we found only one rest area on I-78 in New Jersey. The rest area had picnic benches but no food, coffee, or bathroom facilities. Along the way, we found many options for food, coffee, and gasoline in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. However, the closer to Newark, New Jersey the harder it seemed to locate food and gasoline that was easily accessible from I-78. If you need food, gasoline, or a bathroom break, it is best to stop before you arrive in New Jersey or on I-78 closer to the Pennsylvania state line.
The number of miles from Washington DC to New York City are very close whether you take Interstate 95 or use the alternative route via Pennsylvania. The travel time is similar for both routes, keep in mind that the Baltimore/Washington DC areas have large number of vehicles on the road from very early in the day to late at night.
This is an alternative route for travel from DC to New York City. The travel route via Pennsylvania avoids most tolls except the Holland Tunnel toll to cross into New York City. If you cross the Hudson River using the Lincoln Tunnel or the George Washington Bridge you will pay a toll for the New Jersey Turnpike and either the Lincoln Tunnel or the George Washington Bridge toll. You may save up to $50 in tolls if you travel through Pennsylvania. If you try the route via Pennsylvania let us know how you make out.
If you have any questions be sure to reach out to us in the comments below. We are always ready to help.