Larkin And Senate Pass Bill To Eliminate $1 E-z Pass Surcharge

William J. Larkin, Jr.

March 20, 2006

The New York State Senate today passed legislation, cosponsored by Senator Bill Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson) that would prohibit agencies that administer E-ZPass in New York State from charging monthly surcharges.

The bill (S.6331) is a response to complaints from downstate motorists about an unwarranted $1 administrative service charge being tacked onto 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 Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). The Port Authority and the MTA charge the $1 fee, the Thruway does not.

"E-ZPass is supposed to be a convenience, both financially and time-wise for motorists," said Senator Larkin. "It is not right that people in the downstate area are being charged this extra fee when drivers in other parts of the state are not. In addition, when you see that the MTA currently has a more than $1 billion surplus, collecting this surcharge is even more ridiculous. This legislation would eliminate that unnecessary fee."

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.