State holds public hearings on cashless tolling, fee increase
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.
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.