Tedisco: Thruway Authority Throws “Salt Into the Wounds of Low-Income New Yorkers” with New 30 Percent Toll Hike

Senator Jim Tedisco

December 1, 2020

“These last nine months have been difficult for all New Yorkers, especially for seniors on fixed incomes and low-income working people who are struggling to make ends meet and pay their bills.  Today, the New York State Thruway Authority Board of Directors threw salt into the wounds of low-income New Yorkers by voting to increase tolls by a whopping 30 percent for non-E-Z Pass users and making them pay a new $2 billing surcharge for getting a bill in the mail.” 

“This toll hike makes it more expensive for low-income New Yorkers to travel for medical appointments like dialysis or to have additional money to pay for groceries and other necessities.” 

“While my new legislation, ‘The Thruway Toll Equality Act’ doesn’t eliminate tolls, it will roll-back this 30 percent increase on Thruway tolls and $2 billing surcharge for New Yorkers living below the federal poverty line who don’t use E-Z Pass.  Under my bill, low-income New Yorkers would not be forced to obtain an E-Zpass and would be billed when they hit the $30 mark for toll usage or annually (whichever comes first) at the same rate as E-ZPass users and not face the mandated $2 billing surcharge.”

“Remember, even if my bill passes, those below the poverty line and everyone else will continue to pay tolls (which were promised to be eliminated at the end of the 1990s), but it defies logic that the Thruway Authority would argue that the only way to pay for the system is to necessitate a 30 percent toll increase and $2 bill surcharge on the backs of those who live below the poverty line.”

“During the economic challenges already caused by COVID-19, this is no time to add more costs to those who can least afford it!”