© 2023 WRVO Public Media
NPR News for Central New York
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Brindisi wants new Thruway revenue to go to upstate counties

Tom Magnarelli
WRVO News File Photo
Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi (center) at Thruway Exit 31 in Utica.

New York state residents receive a five percent discount on Thruway tolls if they have an E-Z Pass. Last year, the New York State Thruway Authority decided to eliminate that discount for out-of-state drivers. Some state lawmakers want to see that new revenue go to local governments.

Central New York Democratic Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi said he has A beef with the Thruway Authority.

“The Thruway Authority is taking money away Oneida and Herkimer counties, and taking us for a ride,” Brindisi said.

He said that is because for the past eight months, the Thruway Authority has been collecting extra cash from out-of-state drivers who end up using local roads.

"New York counties that have these toll exits are not seeing a penny of the extra money and that needs to change," Brindisi said.

Brindisi said rather than staying in the hands of the Thruway Authority, he wants to see that money go to upstate counties, and specifically allocated for much needed road work and paving.

“And although the Thruway Authority may be in the driver’s seat, I have no problem being a backseat driver and working on this issue,” Brindisi said.

Brindisi said he wrote a letter to the Thruway Authority outlining his plan.

“Hopefully we can get some kind of a favorable response from the Thruway Authority, if not, when we return to session in January, I would consider legislation,” Brindisi said.

And he said he thinks the extra money could mount up to millions of dollars for his district alone.

A Thruway Authority spokesperson gave the following statement.

In November 2016, the NYS Thruway Authority Board of Directors voted to remove the five percent discount for our non-NY E-ZPass accounts in line with current laws and obligations. It took effect in January 2017. That is no different than many other states where similar polices have been in effect for far longer.


Tom Magnarelli is a reporter covering the central New York and Syracuse area. He joined WRVO as a freelance reporter in 2012 while a student at Syracuse University and was hired full time in 2015. He has reported extensively on politics, education, arts and culture and other issues around central New York.