State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer joined local elected officials to call on the New York State Thruway Authority to dedicate available funding to transition the toll plazas in Williamsville to electronic tolling.
"With electronic tolls coming to Grand Island in 2018, it's time for the Thruway Authority to replace the Williamsville toll barriers with high-speed, open road tolling. Implementing cashless tolling will eliminate traffic congestion, reduce pollution and make it safer and easier for Western New York drivers," said Ranzenhofer.
The New York State Thruway Authority (NYSTA) has budgeted $750,000 to “Rehabilitate Buffalo Division Toll Booths” in 2018. The State announced on August 22, 2017 plans to transition the Grand Island tolls to a cashless system by March 2018. Local leaders are calling for the transition to electronic tolling at the Williamsville barriers as well.
A 2013 report of the “Task Force on Health Effects of Toll Plaza Air Quality in New York City” looked at the impact of toll plaza traffic on the health of toll workers and local communities and recommended increasing the automation of toll collection.
The New York State Thruway Authority is projected to carry a total of 267.3 million vehicles in 2017, up 3.3 million vehicles over last year. As a result, toll revenues are forecasted to be $707.3 million, an increase of $11.1 million above 2016 levels. An independent consultant is assuming continued traffic growth and subsequently continued growth in toll collection. In 2019 NYSTA toll revenues are expected to reach $722.5 million.