On Wednesday, the New York Thruway Authority took a major step toward raising toll costs by 45% for trucks. The price of commuter cars will remain the same.
The increased toll revenue will go to road repairs and will help pad the deficit. According to WNYT, “Since 2005, Thruway traffic has declined 10 percent while operating expenses grew more than 20 percent, creating a short term debt of $368 million.”
“Don’t put it on our backs to pay for X, Y, or Z spending problems,” Calvin Keller, an independent trucker from Ohio, who says he travels the Thruway once a week, told the station.
“Look at how much revenue that trucks actually bring in to the state of New York versus a car,” he says “We’re at five or six miles to the gallon. We’re paying fuel tax a lot more fuel tax then you’re average car does.”
The Thruway Authority says big trucks cause 10,000 times the damage that cars cause, though trucks currently only pay a 5% higher toll than commuter cars.
Randy Zabel told WNYT he believes the rate hike would force truck drivers to choose alternate routes, through small towns.
What do you think, drivers? Will you choose an alternate route? How much is a reasonable toll fee for trucks?