THRUWAY AUTHORITY PROPOSES NEW CUOMO BRIDGE TOLL RATES. TRUCKS FACE 31% HIKES IN 2021-2022. MOTORISTS GET OFF LIGHTLY.

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The New Tappan Zee Bridge officially the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge will see possible toll hikes in 2021 including sharply rising congestion tolls on commercial trucks, but a modest increase for motorists The  old Tappan Zee Bridge in foreground awaited demolition a year ago

WPCNR ALBANY ROUNDS. From the New York State Thruway Authority, December 19, 2019:

The New York State Thruway Authority Board of Directors today approved a proposal to begin the toll adjustment process on the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge and other tolling changes that support the statewide conversion to cashless tolling, which is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2020. The approval authorizes the Thruway Authority to begin the public process required to implement the toll rate changes supporting the fiscal stability of the Thruway Authority.

The Thruway Authority, supported by analysis by its independent traffic engineer, has determined that there will be additional revenues needed for the Authority to fulfill its system-wide operating, debt service, and capital needs through the upcoming forecast period. Thruway tolls have not been adjusted since 2010.

On Jan. 1, 2022, the passenger toll rate on the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge will be 58 percent below the rates at Port Authority crossings and 53 percent below the current passenger rates for the major MTA Bridges and Tunnels. For example, the cash toll rate on the George Washington Bridge, the crossing to the immediate South of the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, is currently $15 for two-axle vehicles and $12.50 for E-ZPass holders during peak hours. Tolls on the New York State Thruway system remain among the lowest in the Northeast – lower than the Massachusetts Turnpike, the New Jersey Turnpike, and the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

 Standard NY
E-ZPass Rate
Goethals Bridge$12.50
George Washington Bridge$12.50
Holland and Lincoln Tunnels$12.50
RFK, Whitestone, and Throgs Neck Bridges$12.24
Verrazano-Narrows Bridge$12.24
Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge (2022)$5.75

* Current rates at other crossings as compared to 2022 rate at GMMCB

To reduce commercial congestion on the bridge when drivers ‘bridge shop’ for the cheapest crossings and create additional traffic, adjustments to commercial toll rates on the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo bridge will more closely align with other major crossings in the New York metropolitan area.  

The NY E-ZPass rates for commercial vehicles on the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge will increase by 31 percent in 2021 and 30 percent in 2022. For example, the toll for a tractor trailer with 5 axels and a NY E-ZPass account will increase to $55.77 during peak hours in 2022, compared to $90 at the George Washington Bridge. Even with the adjustment, the commercial toll rate on the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge in 2022 will still be 38 percent less than the toll rate on the George Washington Bridge. 

Over the past decade, the Thruway Authority budget has been successfully balanced while maintaining strong fiscal discipline.  The Authority also received an infusion of additional support from bank settlement funds approved by Governor Cuomo and the state Legislature for capital projects and the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge project. This infusion of funding has allowed Thruway tolls to remain frozen through 2020. 

During this time, Thruway Authority staff have been working hard as part of a sustained effort to modernize the system. The new Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge is fully opened to traffic and construction on the bicycle and pedestrian path is continuing. Cashless tolling is already operational at several locations along the Thruway including the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, and the entire ticketed system is scheduled to convert to cashless tolling by the end of 2020, which will improve travel for motorists. 

In addition, since 2010, the Thruway Authority has heavily reinvested toll revenues into the system by replacing/rehabilitating 116 bridges, resurfacing more than 2,000 lane miles of the highway and spending more than $6.6 billion on the capital program, which includes the new Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge.

“Given that these groundbreaking projects are transforming travel on the Thruway and ushering in a new era of a modern transportation network for motorists in New York, this is the right time both operationally and financially for us to begin this process,” Thruway Authority Executive Director Matthew J. Driscoll said. “The feedback from motorists about a potential toll adjustment has been essential in this process. We are committed to keeping tolls affordable, while providing the Thruway the necessary revenue for our capital needs.”

In July, the Toll Advisory Panel held listening sessions in Rockland and Westchester Counties to review toll rates, potential resident and commuter discount programs and commercial vehicle rates on the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge. Feedback from the listening sessions, as well as recommendations by Stantec Inc., the Thruway Authority’s independent traffic engineer, were considered in the proposal.

The proposed passenger car toll adjustment for the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge includes:

  • Beginning Jan. 1, 2021, increase NY E-ZPass rates by 50 cents in 2021 and 2022 to the rate of $5.75;
  • Beginning Jan. 1, 2021, the commuter discounted rate will be 40 percent off the NY E-ZPass rate only for passenger vehicles that opt into the program; and,
  • A new resident E-ZPass plan will be offered for Westchester and Rockland County residents that will keep their rate flat through 2022. The program will be offered to passenger vehicles with a NY E-ZPass who opt into the plan and can provide proof of residency (i.e. documentation showing their vehicle is registered in one of these two counties, etc.).
 Commuter 
E-ZPass
Resident      
E-ZPass*
Standard NY 
E-ZPass
Out of State 
E-ZPass
Tolls by Mail
Current$3.00$4.75$4.75$5.00$5.00
2021$3.15$4.75$5.25$6.04$6.83
2022$3.45$4.75$5.75$6.61$7.48

*Westchester/Rockland Co. residents who apply for the plan and can provide proof of residency (i.e. documentation showing their vehicle is registered in one of these two counties, etc.).

 NY E-ZPass 
PEAK 
NY E-ZPass 
OFF-PEAK 
Out of State  
E-ZPass 
Tolls by Mail 
Current $32.75 $16.38 $32.75 $32.75 
2021 $42.90 $21.45 $49.34 $55.77 
2022 $55.77 $27.89 $64.14 $72.51 

Additionally, the Board of Directors approved proposed changes to support the Thruway’s system-wide conversion to cashless tolling:

  • With the conversion to cashless tolling in 2020, the standard NY E-ZPass toll rate will become the base toll rate and beginning Jan. 1, 2021, a 30 percent rate differential would be established for Tolls by Mail toll rates. Such differential toll rates have been standard practice among other systems that have converted to cashless tolling.
  • Beginning Jan. 1, 2021, establish a 15 percent rate differential.
  • Clarify Board Policy that beginning Jan. 1, 2021, all transactions that are processed through a license plate image review will pay the Tolls by Mail rate.
  • Beginning Jan. 1, 2021, implement a $2 administrative surcharge per billing statement for Tolls by Mail statements to support the administrative costs associated with processing transactions through the Tolls by Mail program.

Any potential toll adjustments along the Thruway system are subject to the State Administrative Procedure Act (SAPA), the Public Authorities Law, and the State Environmental Quality Review Act. Public hearings for SAPA will be conducted in 2020.

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