Thruway authority pulls back on toll hike vote for now
After canceling two meetings where a proposed 45 percent toll hike on trucks was believed to be voted on, the New York State Thruway Authority now says it needs more time to consider options before going ahead with the controversial proposal.
In a statement, Thruway Authority Executive Director Thomas Madison, says it is a “complex issue that requires more evaluation,” and that other options are now being considered.
He says the authority is “doing extensive research and it will continue to do this due diligence work before another meeting is called and a recommendation is made.”
Toll hike opponent Brian Sampson, of the business group Unshackle Upstate, says the indecision could be a good sign, and may mean that the votes aren't there on the board to pass the toll increase.
But Sampson says the Thruway Authority needs to be more transparent, and should submit to an outside audit before going ahead with any toll hikes.
“Let us see where the revenues are coming from. Let us see where its being spent,” said Sampson.
He says if the audit shows the authority is already as economically effective as it can be, then there might be less opposition to the toll hikes.
“Then if you still need the funds, that would be a whole different ask,” he said.
The Thruway Authority statement comes after the Buffalo News posted a story with comments from Thruway Board Vice President Donna Luh, who blasted the authority for its lack of transparency and for taking its board members for granted.
No timetable has been given for the Thruway Authority to work out its internal issues and schedule a new meeting.