How to Avoid Paying Tolls When Driving from New England
to Queens, N.Y.
Many friends have asked me how to avoid toll when driving to Queens, NY (e.g. JFK
airport) and back. Usually $3.5 is collected both ways over the 3 bridges to Queens. If
you want to avoid them, you'd have to drive on local roads. Here is a summary of what I
usually do. Sugguestions, corrections and comments are welcome.
- First you need to get on to I-95 south.
- When you are close to Exit-7 (in New York state), be sure to stay in right lanes.
- Follow the sign for I-278 (I think it is at Exit-7), a left exit.
- Keep driving until you reach the last exit before toll (or Exit-47): now it is I-87
- Take the immediate exit at Exit-2 (or Willis Ave.) on I-87 to end up in local traffic.
- After 2 blocks or so, make a left to Alexander Street.
- Make another right to Bruckner Blvd, after about 2 blocks.
- Keep driving for about 3-4 blocks until you see a 2-lane bridge. And choose the right
lane with a sign that reads FDR and 2 Ave.
- After passing the bridge, you will be joined by 2 more lanes from your right and you
need to swiftly change to them: the entrance to FDR is about just 30 feet away; it is easy
- Merge left into FDR South and take Exit-12 for Queensboro Bridge.
- Follow the street signs for Queensboro Bridge.
- After on the bridge, the left lane is for Northern Blvd, which is for LaGuadia Airport;
and the right is for Queens Blvd. and I-495, which takes you to JFK.
- You have just saved $3.5. Congratulations.
Out of Queens
- Try to find Northern Blvd., I-495 or Queens Blvd. westbound, and then get on to
- You want to stay in right lane, for this leads you to FDR North after you're in
- At Exit-18, get off FDR and follow the sign for I-278. (You've saved another $3.5.)
- The entrance for I-278 is hidden and so you need to follow the sign for Hunter Points
Market first. This is extremely easy to miss. The sign for I-278 is only seen after you
follow that stupid Market.
- After on I-278, it is easy to find I-95 north. Be prepared to pay $1 toll at Exit-18. I
don't see it worth avoiding this, since you've just saved $7 and it is faster this way.
- Take Exit 9 off I-95 (in New York state) for Hutchinson River Parkway North.
- After driving for about 20 minutes on Hutchinson, and don't take an early exit for I-95,
or you end up at the toll collector.
- Exit at Exit 26E for I-287 (note this is not I-278). Soon it will merge with I-95 again
on the left. And you save $1.