WNYT.com

Thruway: toll hike for trucks 'needs more evaluation'

Posted at: 11/13/2012 10:10 AM
Updated at: 11/13/2012 5:26 PM
By: Beth Wurtmann

ALBANY - There's growing confusion and outrage over yet another postponement of a Thruway Authority Meeting.

It's the second time in five days that a meeting has been canceled.

Opponents of a proposed toll hike are demanding answers.

Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin is irate about the postponement of another thruway authority board meeting, the 2nd time in five days.

“This is what shadow government looks like this is what secret government looks like so to say I'm a little irritated with the Thruway Authority, that's being kind as well,” said McLaughlin.

Adding to the frustration he says, is that the Authority wouldn't release an agenda or confirm if a proposed 45% toll increase for commercial traffic would be discussed.

“Taxpayers have a right to get an answer to what's going on and they have a right to see that agenda,. I mean to say there's no agenda tome is absurd because how do the members of the committee know what they're going to be talking about,” he said.

Both meetings were announced on the Authority's website, then postponed with little advance notice. No reason was given on Friday.

But today, the Authority issued a short statement from Executive Director Thomas J. Madison, saying that the proposed toll increase for truckers requires more evaluation. And that the Authority is looking at a number of options before another meeting is called.

An association of trucking companies and services says everyone who drives the Thruway should be concerned, as a toll increase on commercial traffic could trickle down to all motorists.

“We're honestly confused. We’re frustrated. Obviously we don't want the 45% increase we feel that they haven't done a great job justifying the need for it,” said Kendra Adams of the NYS Motor Truck Association