New York Thruway Authority Expected to Approve Toll Increases
Here's something that no New York travelers or commuters are going to look forward to. Later on today, a vote is being held by the New York Thruway Authority. The vote is to determine whether or not the proposed price increases for the Thruway as well as the Mario M. Cuomo (it's the Tappan Zee) Bridge will be approved.
Though the vote is not until later today it, early indications are that the price increases will be approved.
Details On Thruway and Bridge Price Increases
All of the details regarding the proposed price increases for the Thruway and the bridge were actually detailed this passed December in a press release from the New York State Thruway Authority.
While the press release contains a lot of information, the main points are that the price to cross the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge will be increasing by $0.50 annually where by 2027 the price for the bridge will rise to $7.75. Currently the price for the bridge sits at $5.75.
It should be noted that these prices would be for individuals who are using the thruway or crossing the bridge with an E-Z Pass, for those without an E-Z Pass the prices would be even more expensive. For instance, those who would be crossing from Rockland County into Westchester County would be paying $13.56 without E-Z Pass.
While presumably no one is exciting about paying more, it should be noted that the press release also mentions of a variety of discount programs to lighten the hit on individuals wallets. For instance the 40 Percent Commuter Discount Program will do as its name suggests and take off the E-Z Pass rate for commuters. Commuters looking to qualify for this discount would need to make a minimum 20 trips per month.
Why the Thruway and Bridge Price Increases are Necessary
As one can imagine or at least hope, the price increases are reportedly a necessity for numerous reasons. As reported by News 12: Hudson Valley, the price increases will be going towards all of the repairs that take place along the thruway and the bridge.
In total, the entire thruway spans 570 miles from Buffalo alway the way down to the Bronx. Across the entire thruway there are a total of 815 bridges, each bridge on average is at least 55 years old, however it is also estimated that the 75% of the bridges are more than 60 years old. Kind of like people getting older, it's not hard to believe that these bridges would need some repair work.
In addition to the repairs, the price increases would also be needed to help avoid one gigantic problem. That gigantic problem being, a projected $250 million dollar budget deficit that would hit New York by 2031. In other words, things continue to get more expensive in New York and the world keeps turning (well, rotating technically). The price increases, assuming that the vote is approved will go into affect starting January 1, 2024.