The New York State Senate today passed legislation, cosponsored by Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (8th Senate District), that would prohibit agencies that administer E-Z Pass in New York State from imposing monthly surcharges. This would repeal the $1 a month surcharge currently being imposed by the MTA and Port Authority on Long Island E-Z Pass users.
Senator Fuschillo supported this legislation after he was contacted by many of his constituents stating that an unwarranted $1 a month administrative service charge was being tacked on to their E-Z Pass account bills.
E-Z Pass is an electronic toll collection system which allows drivers to prepay tolls. Instead of having to use dollar bills and coins to pay tolls, drivers can attach an E-Z Pass to their vehicles, and tolls are automatically calculated and deducted from the prepaid accounts as they pass through the toll lanes.
Three different agencies authorize E-Z Pass within the state; the New York State Thruway Authority, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). The Port Authority and the MTA charge the $1 fee, the Thruway Authority does not.
According to the MTA’s website, the $1 monthly account service fee was instituted last summer to "help defray the administrative costs of managing our customer’s E-Z Pass accounts." This fee was introduced despite the fact that the MTA announced a budget surplus of over $1 billion last year.
"It is inherently unfair that people who live in the metropolitan area have to pay additional fees for an E-Z Pass, while those who live upstate and utilize the exact same service do not. E-Z Pass was created in order to make traveling easier, quicker and more convenient. Drivers who were initially encouraged by the MTA to use this service are now forced to pay extra, and that is not right," said Senator Fuschillo. "This legislation would put an end to that."
The bill was sent to the Assembly.
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