© 2024 Western New York Public Broadcasting Association

140 Lower Terrace
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailing Address:
Horizons Plaza P.O. Box 1263
Buffalo, NY 14240-1263

Buffalo Toronto Public Media | Phone 716-845-7000
WBFO Newsroom | Phone: 716-845-7040
Your NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

State holds public hearings on cashless tolling, fee increase

New York State Thruway Authority
Cashless tolling is already a reality on Grand Island.

The New York State Thruway Authority holds two more public hearings Wednesday and Thursday on its transitioning to cashless tolling in 2021.

While EZPass customers, outside of those who use the Mario Cuomo Bridge, would not be impacted, tolls would go up by 30% for those who don't have EZPass. They would also be subject to a $2 administrative fee to pay by mail, which Thruway Authority Executive Director Matthew Driscoll said was standard among other systems across the nation.

Credit New York State Thruway Authority
Proposed 2021 toll increases for most local E-ZPass drivers. Commercial drivers would be charged more.

Driscoll said the toll increase is needed for toll-by-mail customers because of the increased costs associated with those transactions.

Only three people spoke at the first public hearing on the toll adjustment Tuesday. Walter Pacholczak with Associated General Contractors of New York State said with the toll freeze in effect the past 10 years, roads and bridges have deteriorated. He called the toll adjustment a good start.

"The Thruway Authority relies heavily on tolling and bonding, thus making it necessary to increase revenues," he said. "This proposal is the first step to enforce a sustainable toll increase it needs to improve pavement conditions and rebuild the bridges that are more than 60 years old."

Speaker Alita Dupree said she is a lifelong user of the Thruway and also supports the adjustment. She said cashless tolling is the future and the 30% increase is reasonable.

Wednesday's public hearing is 2 p.m.-4 p.m. Thursday's hearing is 6 p.m.-8 p.m.

Mark Wozniak, WBFO's local All Things Considered host, has been at WBFO since mid-1978.
Related Content