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NYS Thruway Authority finishes hearings on proposed toll increase

The New York State Thruway Authority held their third and final virtual public hearing on Thursday evening to get input on their proposed toll increase.

Posted: Oct 16, 2020 10:20 AM
Updated: Oct 16, 2020 2:02 PM

Cashless tolling takes effect in November, but that might not be the only change coming to the New York State Thruway.

After cash toll booths are gone, drivers without E-ZPass will get a bill in the mail every time they use the Thruway.

Drivers who pay by mail could pay 30% more than the E-ZPass toll rate, in addition to a $2 administrative surcharge per billing statement, according to officials with the Thruway Authority.

E-ZPass customers, outside of those who use the Gov. Mario Cuomo bridge, will not be impacted by the proposal. Toll rates for New York E-ZPass customers on the rest of the system will remain the same.

The Thruway Authority held three virtual public hearings on this proposal. Not many people spoke up.

Camilla Morris, the president of the Bus Association of New York, did speak on Thursday night. She also manages the Oneonta division of Hale Transportation.

Morris believes in light of the pandemic, this rate increase is inappropriate.

"COVID-19 have impacted us in unprecedented ways that we could never have imagined just six months ago, the bus industry has been particularly hard hit and this is simply not the time to be increasing toll rates when New York State small businesses are struggling to survive," Morris said. "In these very difficult economic times, I implore the members of this panel to rescind the proposed toll increase."

Now that the hearings are over, the board of directors for the thruway authority will review and vote on whether or not to approve the proposed rate increase.

The Thruway Authority will vote at its next meeting on Dec. 1.

You can watch the three virtual public hearings and learn more here.

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