thruway tolls

WBFO news file

For several years, many Amherst residents have wanted to move the Williamsville and Lackawanna toll barriers. One of the reasons is they want a toll reduction. The other reason is a buildup of cars.

Elected leaders from all levels of government are teaming up to push for more cashless tolling on the New York State Thruway. Just last week, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the Grand Island Toll booths will be replaced with an electronic system next year.

When the state budget is approved next week it will likely not include a discount for frequent users of the New York State Thruway. The legislature has rejected Governor Cuomo’s plan to use some of the state’s surplus to subsidize tolls.

WBFO News File Photo / WBFO News

"Built to Last" is the name that Governor Andrew Cuomo is giving to his list of proposals that will be unveiled during his upcoming State of the State address.

Chris Caya/WBFO News

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.

WBFO News file photo

Under pressure from Governor Cuomo, the State Thruway Authority has backed off on plans for a 45-percent toll increase for trucks.

In the last four years, one million New York State Thruway drivers have cruised through E-ZPass lanes without paying. That failure to pay has cost the fiscally-troubled authority $35 million over four years.

Assemblyman Sean Ryan says he wants to change the law to help the authority collect the cash it is owed.

Ryan is pushing legislation criminalizes knowingly going through E-ZPass lanes, which is not currently a criminal offense. Instead, the authority sends out a collection letter along with a $25 charge, which most people don't pay.

A coalition of business groups is opposing a proposed 45% toll hike for trucks on the New York State Thruway, saying it will have a “drastic” impact on manufacturing, farming, and many other industries.   

Unshackle Upstate is  a member of the coalition,  which argues that the toll hike for commercial vehicles with three or more axles will put the state’s tucking industry and all the businesses that use trucks to haul goods at a “competitive disadvantage”.