THRUWAY After eliminations, rate hikes too soon
It really is amazing the New York State Thruway needs to raise tolls next year. Only two years ago, the Authority was eliminating jobs left and right when it was getting rid of the booths.
By going to E-Z Pass, they were saving millions of dollars by reducing worker costs and benefits for the now non-existent toll takers. But the normally greedy agency could not resist. Just this week, they approved new 5% rate increases that will go into effect Jan. 1 and Jan. 1, 2027.
“The toll adjustments approved … by the Board of Directors follow a year-long public process and represent a responsible approach to ensure continued investment in the 570-mile Thruway system for years to come,” Board of Directors Chair Joanne M. Mahoney said. “The Thruway Authority receives no dedicated federal, state or local tax dollars and relies primarily on toll dollars to maintain and operate the Thruway which is one of the safest and reliable toll roads in the country.”
Great sound bite, but let’s also not forget another recent boondoggle in the reconstruction of the service areas. Those costs, we must note, are $260 million more, due to higher prices in construction and inflation. Someone will be picking up those costs — likely the taxpayers.
No price hike is convenient. We just wonder where all the savings from job reductions, that took place within the last three years, have gone so quickly.