RITCHIE OPPOSES THRUWAY TOLL HIKE PLAN
Says 45% Hike on Truckers Hurts Farmers, Area Businesses
Senator Patty Ritchie today urged the state Thruway Authority to reject a plan to hike tolls by as much as 45 percent on truckers, saying that the plan will hurt farmers and businesses in central and Northern New York who rely on the roadway to get their goods to market.
“New York’s farmers, the most productive in the world, need access to the largest consumer marketplace in the US—the New York City metro area—and must rely on the Thruway to connect their fields to their customers,” said Senator Ritchie, who chairs the Senate’s Agriculture Committee.
“Everyone who travels the Thruway is familiar with the rumbling milk trucks that regularly traverse the nation’s longest tollway. The dairy industry, the largest sector of our agricultural economy, relies on truck transportation to deliver fresh milk to manufacturers, including yogurt and cheese plants, and consumers in cities from New England, the Atlantic coast and Midwest, regions all connected by the Thruway.”
“At a time when we all are trying to change New York’s reputation as the worst place to do business in the US, raising the cost of shipping goods across Upstate sends the wrong message to companies looking to expand or locate here.”
She also warned that truckers may chose to avoid the highway to save money, and as a result, increase traffic and wear and tear on local roads, adding to the expense of local taxpayers.
The Thruway Authority says it needs the toll hikes to balance its budget and stem a tide of red ink. But Senator Ritchie urged the Authority to look elsewhere in its budgets for savings.
Tolls were last raised on the superhighway in 2010.