BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The New York State Thruway Authority is holding virtual public hearings this week on the proposed toll hike for some drivers.
This is the Thruway Authority's proposal:
- If you have a New York State E-ZPass there will be no change to your toll rates (with the exception of tolls at the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge).
- Out of state E-ZPass holders will pay a rate of 15 percent more.
- Those who don't have an E-ZPass and use tolls by mail will pay 30 percent more as well as an additional $2 processing fee.
Non E-ZPass drivers, not wanting their travel costs to go up, said they're considering making the switch.
“I've thought about getting E-ZPass, but I often travel in the city of Buffalo, so I didn’t really see a need to get it until maybe now, maybe I need to reconsider,” said Dawn Wells-Clyburn of Buffalo.
NYS Thruway Authority Executive Director Matthew Driscoll said the rate increase for cash tolls is due to the cost of mailing bills. Driscoll is urging all drivers to sign up for E-ZPass to avoid toll increases. The thruway becomes completely cashless next month.
“The implementation to cashless tolling will ease congestion for our motorists, reduce idling time and its impact on the environment, and help with the reduction of roadway incidents,” said Driscoll.
The first public hearing was held on Tuesday. Here's how you can share your input with the NYS Thruway Authority:
- Register here to comment during virtual hearings that will be held during the below times
- Wednesday, October 14 from 4 p.m.- 6 p.m.
- Thursday, October 15 from 6 p.m.- 8p.m.
- Email comments to email@example.com
- Mail comments to:
- Toll Commentsc/o Legal DepartmentNew York State Thruway Authority200 Southern Blvd.P.O. Box 189Albany, NY 12201-0189
According to the NYS Thruway Authority, 19% of tolls were paid in cash through July of this year, the other 81% is through E-ZPass. Driscoll said one-third of thruway vehicles last year were out of state. Out of state drivers can register for a New York E-ZPass.
The NYS Thruway Authority said there's a $25 cost associated with registering for E-ZPass, but the money is loaded into the account that pays your tolls.
The hikes were proposed in December 2019. If approved by the NYS Thruway Authority Board of Directors, it would be the first thruway toll increase since 2010. The thruway is not funded by tax dollars.