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Senator Chris Jacobs working on legislation to end toll collections at Grand Island bridges

Senator Chris Jacobs working on legislation to end toll collections at Grand Island bridges
Posted at 6:39 PM, Mar 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-08 18:39:05-05

Senator Chris Jacobs is working on legislation t hat would direct the New York state Thruway Authority to stop collecting tolls at the Grand Island bridges.

Jacobs said the tolls were installed years ago pay off the bonds for the bridge, something he said has now been paid 20 times over.

About a year ago the Thruway Authority made the switch to cashless tolls with the goal to make commutes faster.

But the switch-over was plagued with problems, with a number of drivers getting overcharged, or getting hefty fines after forgetting to pay.

"I had a meeting finally with the Thruway Authority last week up in Albany to talk about some of the problems that we've been having. I do believe that they're trying to work on this, and they really need to resolve any problems they're having with this technology," said Senator Jacobs.

He said people who are still having problems with billing or unfair fines can call his office or the Thruway Authority.

The bill is in the Senate Transportation Committee.

The state collects $23 million in revenue from the Grand Island tolls each year.

Grand Island Supervisor Nate McMurray has been working with the State Thruway Authority since the issues were brought to his attention.

"Tolls are a tax. We have no idea where the tax goes or how it's spent. Either stop that tax or give us control over it," said McMurray.