One Million Thruway Riders Skipped Out on $35M In Tolls

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The state Thruway Authority is considering a 45 percent toll increase on trucks at the same time more than 1 million drivers between 2007 and 2011 avoided paying tolls and dodged $35 million in charges and fines, Gannett’s Albany Bureau reports.

Records reviewed through a Freedom of Information request show that the beleaguered Thruway Authority’s finances have been hurt by its inability to recoup tolls and fines from people who zip through EZ-Pass lanes scot-free.

From the article, which can read here, here, here, here, here and here.

Of the $35 million in uncollected tolls and fines since 2007, $7 million has been recouped through a credit agency, the Thruway said.

The biggest trouble spot is the Tappan Zee Bridge, records show. Between 2007 and 2011, nearly 80,000 passenger vehicles and trucks didn’t pay the $5 roundtrip toll when they crossed the Hudson Valley bridge between Westchester and Rockland County. That accounted for $7 million in uncollected fines and tolls.

The state is planning to build a new Tappan Zee Bridge, with tolls that could be as high as $14 roundtrip.

Business groups and state lawmakers have been critical of the Thruway’s proposed 45 percent toll increase on most trucks. They said the uncollected tolls are one reason why any toll increase should receive further review. The Thruway delayed a vote on the increase in September.

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  1. Yes, they need to figure out some system to do a better job at collections (hmm, if only there were some entities who performed such services, gov’t or private, to collect upon owed debts). So, supposedly there are license plate readers at the gate recording our comings and goings…why aren’t those who aren’t paying recorded, sent to dmv to determine the theiving owner, then a bench warrant signed by a judge?

    As to the trucks paying a lot more…they should, as they incur a LOT more damage to the road surface and supporting infrastructure. I watched a program depicting a study by either a transportation department or (more likely) The Army Corps. of Engineers which determined that a fully loaded semi and trailer (R permit?) does approximatly 6,000 times the damage to a road surface as the average passenger vehicle. The unfortunate thing is that this cost will just be passed on to the consumer anyway, which would be a good thing if companies didn’t spread the cost around it’s other product lines to make the impact less visible.

  2. The Thruway Authority is pleading Incompetence as a reason to gouge NYS Citizens?

    How about they resign? Rather than attempt to blame US, let them accept responsibility for their
    own inability to run a Program that should have eliminated tolls years ago, as per the Agreement.

    Now, they want to fiddle with the long defunct Erie Canal, just to have something to do? These
    idiotic bureaucrats need to lose their jobs. They obviously don’t know what they are doing.

    An Investigation by the Office of the Inspector General, and the State Comptroller, is required.