how do people that work at toll booths get to work and from work?
Welcome to the boards, singstimme.
Since tollbooths vary wildly around the US and the world, it might help to know a little more about the specific instance that you’re referring to.
Most tollbooths have some sort of parking lot/service center associated with them that the workers drive to. If you mean actually getting into the booth - they walk in most of the ones I’ve seen. They can hold traffic in whatever lane the worker needs to walk across, or just have those lanes closed and man the booths from the center of the roadway outward.
There’s either an access road and parking area that can be reached from a different road (the same way toll road gas station and restaurant workers get to their places of employment), or an access road off the “pipe” of a trumpet-style interchange, on the free side of the toll booth.
To get to the booths, workers either jump across the lanes from booth to booth (it’s relatively safe, because traffic is stopped at the booths, and ATC lanes are usually at the far end of a bank of toll booths), or in rare cases use an underground corridor leading from the exit administration building, and take stairs up into the booths.
My question: why are humans used to give out toll tickets on the New York Thruway, while the ticket distribution process is automated on most other toll roads?
My guess would be unions.
In a related story, I knew a former tollbooth worker who worked for the Jersey Turnpike. He lived in Bayonne, but occasionally the Turnpike would call him up for service at its southern end, near the Delaware Bridge. Usually this would be on a busy holiday weekend, and there was apparently no alternative way for workers to get to the booths while stuck in the lineup of cars miles back on the Turnpike.
He wasn’t allowed to work overtime, and travel time to and from this site (not his usual post) was counted as part of his hours. As a result, he would sometimes drive 3 to 3½ hours to get to the booths, work for an hour or two, and then turn around and drive home.
A new freeway (and I use the term loosely) I travelled on in Vietnam required THREE workers to let a car through.
You’d pull over at a little booth on the side of the road about a hundred yards before the toll plaza, and you buy a ticket. Then you drive up to the toll plaza and hand your ticket to a guy in another booth. That guy looks at your ticket critically (even though you’re the first car for five minutes, and he’s seen you buy the thing. when he’s satisfied it’s ok, he calls out to his colleague that we were ok to pass, and the third guy would manually lift the boom gate by pushing down on the concrete counterweight.