State Thruway Authority officials will be in Buffalo today, where this evening they will kick off the first of three public hearings on a proposed 45 percent toll increase on large trucks.
In Syracuse today, a host of business and trade groups held a news conference to speak out against the proposal, calling it “irresponsible.”
“Raising tolls will definitely lead to increased manufacturing costs,” Randy Wolken, president of MACNY — The Manufacturers Association, said in a statement. “Our members will have no choice but to pass the cost on to consumers which will make them less competitive. This proposed toll increase represents a real road block in our efforts to rebuild New York’s economy.”
The first hearing kicks off at 6 p.m. tonight at the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library in downtown Buffalo. A Syracuse hearing starts at 11 a.m. tomorrow, while a Newburgh hearing starts at 10 a.m. Saturday.
Asked about the proposed toll increase yesterday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo was careful not to take sides.
“There are a number of hearings that are going on now and I think the conversation is a good one,” Cuomo told reporters. “But the first question has to be, can you save more money? Are there more efficiencies? Can you cut more waste?”