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NY Thruway Authority hosts public hearing on proposed toll hikes

Diagrams highlight the New York State Thruway Authority's proposal for an increase in toll prices.
Abby Connolly
Diagrams highlight the New York State Thruway Authority's proposal for an increase in toll prices.

A public hearing at the New York State Fairgrounds Tuesday saw community members and state Thruway Authority officials discussing the Authority’s plan to increase tolls for the first time since 2010.

The proposal would increase tolls for state E-ZPass users by 5% in 2024 and again in 2027. Out-of-state E-ZPass users and drivers who opt for mail tolls would look at toll prices 75% higher than the in-state E-ZPass rate. For Onondaga County resident Scott Seeland, that is simply too much.

“I don’t believe the Thruway toll raises are justifiable,” Seeland said

Working for a Medicaid transportation company, Seeland uses the Thruway five to six times a week. He said the raises could negatively impact the company he works for and its employees.

“If you raise the rates on the Thruway, then we are losing money,” Seeland said. “Ten percent on trips, over the next three years, that can be pretty significant.”

90% of the Thruway Authority is funded through tolls, the other 10% comes from property leases. Interim Executive Director Frank Hoare said the raises are necessary for continued Thruway use.

“Costs have gone up, and if we are going to operate, maintain and build on the Thruway system, that costs money,” Hoare said.

The New York Thruway Authority will hold three additional public hearings in Albany, Rockland County and a virtual hearing will be held June 5.

Abigail is a temporary WRVO News Reporter/Producer working on regional and digital news stories. She graduated from SUNY Oswego in 2022 where she studied English and Public Relations. Abigail enjoys reading, writing, exploring CNY and spending time with family and friends. Abigail first joined the WRVO team as a student reporter in June 2022.