Thruway drops toll hike

Public pressure leads authority to turn to cuts instead of trucks

— Lawmakers had lambasted the authority’s proposed toll hike on trucks for weeks, even months, with Assemblyman James Tedisco, R-Glenville, recently saying it was an example of “secret government.”

Upstate Republicans have consistently railed against any toll increase, but Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin, R-Melrose, questioned why the hike was on the table for so long.

“The fact that the Thruway’s first inclination was to raise tolls rather than examine its own finances to find savings is further proof that the agency is completely mismanaged and in need of new leadership,” McLaughlin said. “Today’s news is a victory for New Yorkers, but we must continue to hold the Thruway’s feet to the fire and ensure that the sorely-needed reforms being considered are implemented, including the continued need for a forensic audit.”

Madison would not guarantee an absence of toll increases in coming years, but Cuomo asserted the authority’s financial plan doesn’t include any toll increases for the “next several years.” Cuomo said unexpected or unknown circumstances could alter projections.

“We need to do everything we can and explore every option before we even consider a toll increase,” Madison said.

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