Brooklyn- State Senator Martin J. Golden (R-C-I, Brooklyn) today is announcing that an agreement reached within the 2006-2007 New York State budget will prohibit agencies that administer E-ZPass in New York State from charging monthly surcharges.
Senator Marty Golden co-sponsored legislation in the State Senate, (S. 6331) in response to complaints from local motorists regarind an unwarranted $1 administrative service charge being tacked on to their E-ZPass account bills each month.
Three different agencies authorize E-ZPass 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 does not.
"E-ZPass is supposed to provide efficiency by both easing congestion at toll plazas and by offering discounts for account holders," Senator Marty Golden said. "While the program has helped to alleviate traffic jams, this unnecessary fee defeats the purpose of the account holder discounts. The common sense thing to do was to get rid of this surcharge, allowing New Yorkers the opportunity to benefit financially from E-ZPass as in prior years."
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-ZPass accounts." MTA estimates that the monthly surcharge generates $13.2 million annually. The MTA recently announced that it had a budget surplus of over $1 billion.
The budget is expected to be approved by the New York State Legislature this week and then sent to Governor George Pataki.