The fate of a proposed 45 percent toll increase for truckers on the New York Thruway could be determined at meeting scheduled for Dec. 17. Truckers and lawmakers who oppose the toll increase are keeping the pressure on, saying the increase will hurt the economy and bottom lines of businesses large and small.
The agency proposed the increase last May, affecting only trucks, after a hired consulting firm said truckers were not paying their fair share to run the Thruway.
A full-length trip on the Thruway from Buffalo to New York City currently costs $88 for a five-axle truck. That toll would jump to $127 under the plan.
But truckers don’t even know if the agency is considering the same plan, an alternate version, or something else altogether, because the Thruway’s board of directors has canceled its past three scheduled meetings and has not provided meeting agendas to the public. Even lawmakers have had trouble getting a peep out of the agency.
New York Assemblyman Jim Tedisco, R-Glenville, has legislation pending that would require the Assembly to approve any toll increase floated by the Thruway. Tedisco issued a statement Friday following the announcement of the Dec. 17 meeting. Like the previous three meetings, the agency has not provided a meeting agenda in advance.
“Not even the Grinch Who Stole Christmas could be this diabolical,” Tedisco stated. “This is yet another example of secret government emanating from the Thruway Authority.”
“Once again, we called and asked for a copy of their agenda for the December 17th meeting and they refused to give it to us,” he said. “The last time we caught the Thruway Authority with their hands in the cookie jar they twice had to cancel their meeting. Now I fear that a week before Christmas when people aren’t paying attention, the Thruway Authority may pull a bait and switch and sneak in a massive toll hike when they claim they just want to pick a design for the new Tappan Zee Bridge.”
Upon canceling a meeting in November, Thruway Authority Executive Director Thomas Madison issued a statement saying the proposed toll increase was a “complex issue that requires more evaluation before it is presented to the Board to consider.”
See related stories:
Under pressure, Thruway official says toll increase a ‘complex issue’
Truckers call out Thruway brass over toll plan
NY Thruway refuses to say if toll increases are subject of meeting
OOIDA members sound off against New York’s toll proposal
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