ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — Attention drivers, E-ZPass toll fees could be going up on the New York State Thruway.
The NYS Thruway Authority is expected to propose a toll rate adjustment at a Board Meeting on Monday. The State Highway Authority said, in part, the fee increase would be used to cover costs associated with “Tolls by Mail.”
If passed, the change in rates would begin on Jan. 1, 2024. E-Zpass holders would see a 5% increase in rates when driving anywhere on the Thruway, except for the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge. Non-E-ZPass holders would see a 75% increase in their “Tolls by Mail” fees.
In a statement, the Thruway Authority said: “This is a responsible financial plan to ensure the Authority will meet its growing capital and infrastructure needs for a system that is approaching 70 years in age.” They also say New Yorkers haven’t seen a toll increase since 2010 and our five cents per mile is less than Ohio where it’s six cents per mile, the Jersey Turnpike where it’s 11 cents per mile and Pennsylvania where it’s 14 cents per mile.
Democratic Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara said times are tough for everyone right now and the added fees are unnecessary.
“Clearly the Thruway Authority is out of touch with reality, out of touch with the times that we’re living in and I introduced a bill today that sets forward an immediate two-year moratorium, a two-year toll hike freeze to stop this, to reject this proposal and say we’re not going to accept this,” he said.
Senate Minority Leader Robert Ortt also opposes the hike in fees.
“As record inflation and economic difficulties continue … rather than rein in spending the way most families are doing, unelected bureaucrats appointed by the Governor are moving to siphon more money away from the public and into their own hands,” he said in a statement.
The proposal will be followed by public hearings, a public comment period and a final decision by the end of next year.