Senator Dale M. Volker Urges Governor To Take Stand On Thruway Increases In Western New York

William T. Stachowski

November 20, 2007

(DEPEW, NY) Senator Dale M. Volker (R-C-I, Depew) today urged Governor Spitzer to take a position on the proposed toll hikes by the New York State Thruway Authority. Senator Volker has already urged the State Comptroller to perform a thorough audit of the New York State Thruway Authority finances. The State Comptroller has agreed to an audit and is going to expedite the audit process.

"Today, Governor Spitzer publicly stated that the Metropolitan Transit Authority, which is the state’s transit agency for downstate New York commuters, should not increase their fares," said Senator Dale M. Volker. "I agree with the Governor, but what about Western New York and the proposed toll hikes being proposed by the New York State Thruway Authority? I am urging the Governor to use his influence and finally take a public stand on the toll hikes that would squeeze more money from our residents and harm our region’s fragile economic climate."

Senator Volker continues to call for delaying any and all toll increases proposed by the New York State Thruway Authority until a thorough audit by the New York State Comptroller’s Office is completed and the State Legislature can review the outcome of the audit. Additionally, the State Senate will propose having public hearings on the outcome of the State Comptroller’s audit to allow for the full disclosure, openness and transparency of the operational and programmatic goings on at the New York State Thruway Authority.

Last year, the State Senate was instrumental in getting rid of the two commuter toll plazas outside of the City of Buffalo. By making sure that the bond covenants with the NYS Thruway Authority were honored, no increase in tolls were discussed nor proposed. The removal of the toll plazas coincided with the removal of I-84 in downstate New York. This meant that there was no decrease in revenues to the NYS Thruway Authority.