Tue August 27, 2013
Higgins calls on Thruway Authority to eliminate 15-cent toll to Transit Road
In a push to eliminate what some drivers call a commuter tax on local residents, Rep. Brian Higgins is leading a fight to eliminate a 15-cent Thruway toll just outside of Buffalo.
In a letter to the Thruway Authority Executive Director Thomas Madison, Higgins says the Authority should eliminate the fee drivers pay between the Williamsville toll barrier and Transit Road.
The call comes as the Authority is preparing to ask Washington to waive repayment of $6 million in federal aid.
Higgins says after burning through the $6 million in taxpayer support for a toll relocation study, the Authority owes local drivers better than what's been proposed.
"I'm going to make sure that I do everything I can as a federal official, working with the federal highway administration, to ensure that it's not granted unless and until they create a toll-free zone between exits 49 and 50," Higgins said.
Higgins, a South Buffalo Democrat, says eliminating the toll would relieve traffic congestion on Main Street in the Village of Williamsville. He says there is precedent for the request, as sections of the Thruway in Albany are toll-free.
"However they made that work in Albany, they can make it work in Buffalo," Higgins said.