SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR) — New York tolls and E-ZPasses may be getting a price hike of nearly 15%, according to state officials.
But before any changes can be enacted, the Thruway Authority needs to jump through a series of hoops — which include holding at least three public hearings on the increases, the first of which will be held via webinar on Monday, December 5 at 11:00 a.m.
The New York State Board of Directors will be making the changes “to sufficiently fund its capital program, operations, and debt services,” according to New York State Officials.
- Tolls by Mail Toll Rates: Beginning on January 1, 2024, increase the current 30 percent. Tolls by Mail rate differential (a toll rate 30 percent above the NY E-ZPass rate) to a 75 percent differential. With this change, NY E-ZPass customers will receive a 75% discount from the Tolls by Mail and Non-NY E-ZPass toll rates.
- Non-NY E-ZPass Rates: Beginning on January 1, 2024, increase the current Non-NY E-ZPass toll rate differential from a 15 percent rate differential (a toll rate 15 percent above the NY E-ZPass rate for Non-NY E-ZPass tolls) to a 75 percent differential. With this change, NY E-ZPass customers will receive a 75% discount from the Tolls by Mail and Non-NY E-ZPass toll rates.
- Increase the NY E-ZPass Rates System-wide: Beginning on January 1, 2024, provide a 5% increase in NY E-ZPass toll rates on the rest of the system. Beginning on January 1, 2027, provide a 5% increase in NY E-ZPass toll rates on the rest of the system.
For those changes to go through, the group must provide financial reports demonstrating the necessity of the increase. The following leaders must also approve the proposal:
- Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee
- Chairman of the Assembly Ways and Means Committee
- The Ranking Minority members of the Senate Finance Committee
- The Assembly Ways and Means Committee (at least 120 days before the proposal starts)
What’s the next step?
According to the Thruway’s website, the Authority would undergo a formal rule-making process under the State Administrative Procedures Act (SAPA) to change the Authority’s toll structure. After the Authority takes over, the Authority will then assess the public comments received.
The first of three hearings will be with the New York State Thruway Authority Finance Committee, the New York State Thruway Authority Audit Committee, the New York State Thruway Authority Governance Committee.
Immediately after that meeting, the members of the New York State Thruway Authority Board will get together on December 5. The public may listen to the meeting at http://www.thruway.ny.gov/news/meetings.
A consultant will assist the Authority with the satisfaction of the SEQRA process within the same 120- day time frame as is needed to comply with the PAL requirements.
Why increase toll price’s now?
With the recent landmark investments along the Thruway and the significance of the Thruway to travelers, it appears to be imperative that actions will be made to enhance the efficiency of travel to help ensure the reliability of the system.
The Finance Committee proposed this Thruway toll increase at its December 5 meeting and recommended that the idea be presented to the full Board for consideration.