Posted at: 05/30/2012 5:21 PM
| Updated at: 05/30/2012 6:21 PM
By: Bill Lambdin
SUFFERN - It's been almost 60 years since the Thruway first opened, providing high speed, limited stop travel across New York State.
It was built with the promise that the road would be free once the initial bonds to pay for it were taken care of.
But over the years new debt was piled on by various politicians, so that the road now seems to bring an unending series of ever rising toll charges.
"Gas is going up," said a woman on the street in downtown Albany. "Everything is going up and I think that the state just needs to absorb a little bit and cut us all a little slack."
But a man passing by at the same location said "New York probably doesn't spend as much on its highway infrastructure as it should and with infrastructure crumbling, I think a toll raise is fine."
At its board meeting Wednesday afternoon in Suffern, members took the first step toward raising toll charges for large trucks by 45 per cent.
Although there is not a similar passenger car increase looming at this point, raising truck tolls increases shipping costs for all the goods that are delivered over the highway. Those costs will be passed on to consumers whenever possible.
Before the details of this latest toll increase were released, we asked Governor Cuomo if charging more for the Thruway wasn't moving at cross purposes with his desire to spur tourism business in the state.
"If you had to do an increase you would want to do it in a way that minimized any impact on tourism to the extent that's possible." Governor Cuomo said.