SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — State Sen. Jim Tedisco says he’s drafting a “Thruway Toll Equality Act” to protect low-income people from Thruway toll hikes.
“The last thing [low-wage earners] need is a 30% toll hike from the Thruway Grinch,” Tedisco said. “My legislation, the ‘Thruway Toll Equality Act,’ will help those New Yorkers who can least afford it from having to pay more of their hard-earned money in higher tolls and fees.”
Tedisco says that Thruway Authority Board of Directors will approve a 30% toll increase for non-E-ZPass users on December 1. Drivers without E-ZPass also incur a penalty, because the state will charge $2 to mail toll bills out.
For people who don’t have a bank account, credit card, or consistent minimum balance—requirements for a currently E-ZPass account—such a charge would function the same as a fine. Tedisco, representing New York’s 49th Senate District in Saratoga, Schenectady, and Herkimer Counties, notes that the system will not work for struggling New Yorkers without sufficient funds or credit. His solution is to waive any toll increases, fees, and surcharges based on federal poverty level guidelines.
“First and foremost, we were promised that the Thruway was going to be toll-free by the 1990s, and since then, tolls have just increased. But that’s a fight for another day,” said Tedisco, Ranking Member of the Senate Consumer Protection Committee.