NYS Thruway Authority: Bleeding you since 1954

What do you get when you combine a bureaucracy with cold, hard, cash? Business as usual in New York State. The Thruway sent in its executive director to tell us why the Thruway needs higher tolls. Most people didn't buy it. Although the toll hike would be the first since 1988, it'd be 25% for cars. Leave it to a NYS Authority to eff up the timing on something like this: gas prices are already at all-time highs, and taxes from gas sales in NY already go to pay for road maintenance (supposedly).
Several trucking officials said their rates will increase far more than the 35 percent - some said it will be close to 100 percent - claimed by the authority, once the various classifications for weights and number of axles are taken into consideration. Fleischer acknowledged that is true and said the authority is studying recalculating and simplifying the toll schedule for trucks.
I-80 is free, and it runs parallel to the I-90, only about 200 miles south. What do you think the truckers would do if tolls increased here by 100%?
Several speakers brought up the fact the Thruway was supposed to have been toll-free by now and said if the authority hadn't been given the responsibility for the State Barge Canal, perhaps it wouldn't need an increase. 'We were clearly hoodwinked' by the promise the road would be toll free by 1996, Bill Joyce of the New York State Motor Truck Association said. Thruway tolls 'should be a pure user fee. The canal should not be supported by higher tolls,' he added. He and other truckers said the toll increase amounts to a $6-an-hour hike in operating costs. Mark Janis of Path Truck Lines said his firm is just emerging from bankruptcy and the increase will jeopardize more than 100 jobs.
Hoodwinked is a good word for it. Same thing happened on the Mass. Pike, which was supposed to be free by 1986. At least Bill Weld abolished tolls West of Springfield, and removed toll barriers on the Pike extension in Newton. But a certain group is all for higher tolls. Can you guess which group that might be? Come on, I know you can do it! That's right:
But Mark Kirsch, business agent for Operating Engineers Local 17 representing 1,400 construction workers, said the construction project will create jobs. But, he said, the tolls need to be a true user fee 'and not disappear into the general fund.'
"We're for higher tolls, but only if they go directly into our members' pockets." Michael Leydecker of the American Council of Engineers said investing in the Thruway will be good for the economy as well as maintaining safety and speed of travel. Dave Swarts, Kathy Hochul, Marc Coppola, and Richard Fontana all called for the removal of the insidious 50-cent tolls in the City of Buffalo, as well as moving the Lackawanna barrier further West. When you exit the Thruway in Albany, Rochester, or Syracuse, you do not get hit for another 50 cents on the 690, the 490/590/390, or on the 787.

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