More weight on the roads is putting more weight on the shoulders of the New York State Thruway. In order to keep up with the frequent road maintenance caused by loaded-down trucks, the agency is contemplating a 45% toll increase on the commerce carriers.
The public has had the opportunity to speak out about the move over the past few weeks, and another group stood before a panel of Capital Region Republican assemblymen on Sept. 5. The New York State Thruway did not poll the Albany area in the toll hike, and many voiced concerns about the extra cost being passed along to consumers as well as extra tonnage being placed on secondary roads.
“Leaders of the Thruway Authority heard from hundreds of New Yorkers across the state at public toll hearings last month, and the Thruway Board of Directors will take all comments into consideration as it moves towards a determination on a toll adjustment,” Thruway Executive Director Thomas Madison said in a statement. “The proposed toll increase is targeted to address the inequality that exists between cars and large commercial trucks, which puts thousands of times more wear and tear on the road but are charged only five times more than passenger vehicles.”
Opponents of the toll increase, however, say the Thruway needs to take care of its own business before burdening motorists.
Last month, Thruway Authority Chief of Staff Thomas Ryan admitted to lawmakers that the agency needed to get its finances straight after “many years of financial mismanagement.”