July 25, 2012
Trucking and shipping interests are weighing in against a plan by the New York State Thruway Authority to hike truck tolls by 45%. In a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, American Trucking Associations and other trade groups said the proposed rate hike must be stopped.Citing a report that found poor planning and governance by the Authority, the groups said, "Increasing tolls on trucks by 45% to pay for government waste and mismanagement is inexcusable and will hit all New Yorkers hardest where they can least afford it: their pockets."They also said that the toll increase would drive trucks off the Thruway and onto smaller roads that pass through local towns, creating traffic congestion and safety hazards.When it proposed the hike last May, the Authority said it needs the money for road maintenance and operations, as well as capital requirements. The Authority is accepting comments on the proposal until Aug. 24. Public hearings are scheduled Aug.16 - 18 in Buffalo, Syracuse and Newburgh. If the increase goes through it will take effect in October.Joining ATA on the letter are the National Private Truck Council, the New York State Motor Truck Association and the Manufacturers Alliance of New York, along with 19 other groups.