Grand Island, N.Y. (WIVB) — Residents on Grand Island are not happy with the idea of a potential toll increase for the New York State Thruway. The Thruway Board of Directors will consider the rate hike at a meeting Monday.
The New York State Thruway Authority is putting the wheels in motion for a potential rate hike. It was revealed a proposal calls for a 5 percent price increase for E-ZPass holders beginning in 2024. that includes another 5 percent jump in 2027.
People like Karen Mahoney are not happy.
“It seems like it’s always being taken out of our pockets and I think they should find another way to fund the roads,” said Mahoney.
“I just shake my head at that because in the past they would take that away, they would take the tolls away and we were all hoping for that,” Mahoney added. “The opposite is happening, now they’re increasing it and it’s making us a little bit more angrier.”
The biggest hit to the wallet would be for those without an E-ZPass. Right now, it costs those who pay by mail 30 percent more than the E-ZPass rate. Under the proposal, that would jump to a 75 percent differential.
It would be the first increase since 2010.
Roger Greinert is worried a toll hike might turn away visitors from the Island.
“I’m upset with anyone who is trying to propose increases,” Greinert told News 4.
“I’m sure there’s other places that they could do that, that would have less impact on the people,” he added.
The Authority said the increase is needed to pay off debt and keep up with infrastructure improvements.
The proposal faces a lengthy public hearing and approval process if it moves forward.