NYS Thruway tolls rising for residents, non-residents alike
In a unanimous decision, the New York State Thruway Authority voted this week to raise road tolls by 5% next year and an additional 5% in 2027.
In a statement, Authority officials said these will be the first toll increases for NY E-ZPass customers since 2010, and will help preserve and rebuild New York’s infrastructure.
In addition to the 5% increase for NY E-ZPass holders, participants in the state’s Tolls By Mail program and non-NY E-ZPass holders will pay an additional 75% charge—more than double the current 30% differential.
The first changes will take effect on Jan. 1, 2024.
Despite the increase, David Malone, the Thruway Authority's Chief Financial Officer, says New York's toll rates will remain among the lowest in the nation. He added that providing a safe and reliable highway requires significant and sustained capital.
“The money needed to make these federal investments comes almost exclusively from tolls, the Authority does not receive any dedicated federal or state funding,” Malone said.
Norman Jones, former Commissioner of the city of Rochester’s Department of Environmental Services and a new member of the Thruway Board of Directors, calls New York's Thruway "the best value for a transportation system in America."
"I've had the opportunity to drive in Florida, Ohio, different states, and you are second to none,” said Jones.
According to the Authority, 75% of the bridges on the Thruway are more than 60 years old and are expected to require significant overhaul in the future.
Following a public comment period, the Authority noted some public concern that the toll adjustments would be "only a step in addressing the Thruway’s capital program needs." Agency officials say that, based on their own analyses and those of an independent consultant, the adjusted toll rates will satisfy the Authority's current operational needs.