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Lawmakers push to get rid of Grand Island tolls

Posted at 11:29 PM, Mar 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-02 23:33:13-05
Going through the Grand Island toll booths is second nature to many in Western New York, but a number of lawmakers are pushing to get rid of the tolls.
 
Grand Island Town Supervisor Nathan McMurray is one o many pushing the New York State Thruway Authority to remove the tolls, or replace them with something more efficient.
 
"High speed tolling is something that's being implemented in other parts of the State," McMurray said. "Grand Island should not be left behind."
 
Some who go through the tolls everyday, like Chuck Turner believe the tolls are impeding local businesses.
 
"I'm up and down the thruway constantly," he said. "People are apprehensive about coming to the Island based on the fact that they need to pay a toll to get here."
 
The New York State Thruway Authority estimates that in 2015 the tolls made close to $18,500,000. About 88% of those people were visitors, while only 2% were residents and almost 11% commuters.
The Thruway Authority also says it has invested 106 million in capital improvements to the Grand Island Bridges over the past several years.
 
State Senator Chris Jacobs and other lawmakers are also calling for the removal of the tolls, and not the removal than the implementation of cashless tolls immediately.