Thruway says no toll hikes this year

Posted 18 May 2015 at 12:00 am

Press Release, NYS Thruway Authority

The New York State Thruway Authority board of directors today approved a modified budget for 2015 that is balanced and does not include toll increases for any part of the Thruway system.

The $1.9 billion spending plan approved today at a board meeting in Albany closes a gap that was identified in the original 2015 budget approved in December and includes more than $22 million in spending cuts and nearly $44 million in reduced debt service costs.

“The budget approved by the board today reflects the commitment of the Thruway Authority’s new management team to scrutinize all spending and to take a more conservative approach regarding revenue estimates,” said Thruway Board of Directors Chair Joanne M. Mahoney. “Thruway board members and management share a common goal – to keep tolls as low as possible for as long as possible.”

The 2015-16 Enacted State Budget directed $1.285 billion in bank settlement funds to the Thruway Authority for the New NY Bridge project to replace the Tappan Zee and other capital projects throughout the system. An estimated $750 million of these funds will be used for the new bridge project this year, allowing Thruway to avoid borrowing and generating debt service cost savings.

“The bank settlement funds allow us to ensure that there will be no toll increase anywhere in the system this year and that any future increases will be as small as possible,” said Thruway Acting Executive Director Robert L. Megna. “We worked closely with staff to review all spending throughout the organization and made cuts in virtually every area of Thruway operations.”

Thruway’s modified 2015 budget also addresses current-year costs related to winter weather that were higher than expected, and provides additional support for capital projects across the state.

The Thruway Authority’s fiscal year is Jan. 1 through Dec. 31.