Senator Young Comments on Spitzer’s Response to Thruway Plan to Increase Tolls

Catharine Young

November 21, 2007


Saying she was "disappointed by his lack of action," State Senator Catharine Young called on Governor Eliot Spitzer to halt the proposed Thruway toll hike.

"He just stopped the MTA fare increase for New York City subway riders. Why can’t he help the people of upstate? His inaction certainly shows where his priorities are. He continues to be out of touch with our needs here in Western New York," she said.

On Tuesday, Governor Spitzer announced that he had "no current control over Thruway Authority plans to raise tolls on its upstate highway." The Governor said that since the Authority’s Board was appointed by former Governor Pataki, he can do little but "monitor the situation."

"That is a pretty lame excuse," said Senator Young. "He is the Governor, for goodness sake. He should weigh in on this critical transportation issue."

Senate Republicans successfully asked the Thruway Authority to slow down the toll increase which would rise to 20% over the next few years. The Authority originally planned the hike to go into place November 20.

Senate Republicans also requested State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli to audit the Thruway’s books to ensure openness, accountability and to identify cost savings.

"We must look at every option available, because toll increases hurt commuters going back and forth to work, tourism and our economy," Senator Young continued. "We already suffered through a 20% jump in 2005. We need leadership. We need results for the hardworking overburdened taxpayers of New York. We need the Governor to work with us for a solution."