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Democrat proposes pausing Thruway tolls from June-August due to gas prices

A state lawmaker is calling for a temporary pause on Thruway tolls to help families impacted by rising gas prices.

Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara, a Democrat, brought legislation to Albany that would eliminate Thruway tolls during the summer months.

This includes June, July, and August. Why? Rising gas prices, which are as high as $4.39 to $4.79 per gallon along the Thruway corridor.

Lawmaker says surplus, high gas prices means Thruway toll pause necessary

“Typically the summer months are when most people make their travel plans and this savings will encourage tourism in our upstate areas,” Santabarbara said. “These active months are important for local businesses and we must do all we can to encourage economic activity when they need it the most.”

A federal fund surplus makes the toll pause possible, according to lawmakers.

Meanwhile, the Thruway Authority says out-of-state users of the toll road would ultimately benefit. ““Removing tolls would cut off the only dedicated revenue stream used to maintain and operate our 570-mile system each and every day. The Thruway is a user-fee system supported by tolls paid by the people who use it, and not one cent of local or state taxpayer dollars pays to operate or maintain it,” they said. “Roughly one-third of motorists on the Thruway in the summer months are out of state drivers, so removing tolls gives them a free pass and shifts the cost to hard working New York taxpayers. Our revenue must come from somewhere, and we think the fairest approach is that only those who use the Thruway, pay for it.”