Oaks: Raising Tolls Is Not An Option

December 1, 2007

Assemblyman Bob Oaks (R,C-Macedon) today echoed the rising calls against the New York State Thruway Authority’s recent decision to raise rates for motorists who use the Thruway.

“Raising tolls is not an option. If the Thruway Authority has budgetary problems, it should seek internal methods of cutting overtime, high salaries and keeping overhead costs down before placing additional costs on overtaxed New Yorkers,” continued Oaks.

The proposed hike comes at a time when skyrocketing gas prices are having a crippling effect on our local economy. The New York State Thruway Authority is currently planning to raise cash tolls ten percent in January 2008. This will affect the 41 percent of Thruway travelers who do not use the EZ Pass system, which offers a discount to those who enroll in the program. Over the next two years, the Thruway Authority plans to increase tolls by an additional five percent and eliminate the discount for those travelers who use the EZ Pass system. The Thruway Authority blames the lack of toll revenue collected over the past year for the proposed increase.

To gain input from the area residents, Assemblyman Oaks and his colleagues in the Assembly Minority Conference will be holding a public hearing on Monday, December 10th from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Monroe County Legislative Chamber, 39 W. Main Street, Rochester. Anyone wishing to speak at the hearing should contact Assemblyman Oaks’ office at 315-946-5166 or written testimony can be submitted by mailing it to 10 Leach Road, Lyons, NY 14489 or by e-mail at oaksr@assembly.state.ny.us.

“In the coming weeks and months, and as we move into the new legislative session, I will fight against raising tolls and push for increased authority oversight. Raising tolls in upstate New York would be extremely damaging to our efforts to improve our struggling economy,” concluded Oaks.