Assemblyman seeks to eliminate Thruway tolls during summer months

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ALBANY N.Y. (WHEC) — New York State Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara introduced a bill on Monday that would make driving on the thruway free during the summer months.

Santabarbara tweeted that this could be achieved using surplus dollars expected in the State budget.

The toll-free travel bill would be effective during the months of June, July, and August. He said that it would not only get the economy moving this year, but also support tourism and local business during a time when it is needed most.

Last year, the cost of thruway tolls was increased for non-E-ZPass drivers.

Jonathan Dougherty, Deputy Director of Media Relations and Communications from the NYS Thruway Authority said in a statement:

“Removing tolls would cut off the only dedicated revenue stream used to maintain and operate our 570-mile system each and every day. The Thruway is a user-fee system supported by tolls paid by the people who use it, and not one cent of local or state taxpayer dollars pays to operate or maintain it. Roughly one-third of motorists on the Thruway in the summer months are out of state drivers, so removing tolls gives them a free pass and shifts the cost to hard working New York taxpayers. Our revenue must come from somewhere, and we think the fairest approach is that only those who use the Thruway, pay for it.”