The New York State Thruway Authority (NYSTA) Board of Directors approved a rate increase toll adjustment on the New York State Thruway system on Sep. 18, 2023 following a 10-month long public process. The new NYS Thruway rates take effect on Jan. 1, 2024.
The NYS Thruway is a user-fee supported roadway and receives no dedicated federal, state or local tax dollars.
The rate increase approval process included five public hearings in 2023, receipt and consideration of 210 public comments, completion of the Environmental Assessment for the proposed toll modification, as well as the completion of all of the necessary actions required by the Public Authorities Law, the State Administrative Procedure Act (SAPA) and the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA).
NYSTA says there are $470 million in capital project needs that are currently not supported by the resources available for the existing 2022-2026 Capital Program. Eighty-five percent of the Thruway’s roadway base dates back to its original construction in the 1950s, highlighting the need for heavy maintenance, reconstruction, and rehabilitation activities to keep the riding surface in a state of good repair.
“The toll adjustments approved today by the Board of Directors follow a year-long public process and represent a responsible approach to ensure continued investment in the 570-mile Thruway system for years to come. The Thruway Authority receives no dedicated federal, state or local tax dollars and relies primarily on toll dollars to maintain and operate the Thruway which is one of the safest and reliable toll roads in the country,” Thruway Authority Board of Directors Chair Joanne M. Mahoney said.
According to the NYSTA, there are additional revenues required to fulfill system-wide operating, debt service, and capital needs through the upcoming forecast period. NYSTA says its increased costs are “supported by analysis from its independent traffic engineering consultant.”
“Today’s vote by the Board of Directors maintains some of the lowest toll rates in the country and fulfills the system-wide operating, debt service, and capital needs for our financial plan,” NYSTA Acting Executive Director Frank G. Hoare said. “We’d like to thank individuals and industry representatives who attended the public hearings, those who contacted us expressing their opinion on the proposal, and elected officials for their feedback. This proposal was developed to ensure the safety and reliability of the Thruway by providing the Authority with additional revenue to meet our infrastructure and operational needs.”
According to NYSTA, the rate increase adjustment will keep its toll rates among the lowest in the country compared to similar toll roads.
The NYS Thruway base passenger vehicle toll rate is less than $0.05 per mile, compared to the Ohio Turnpike ($0.06 per mile), the New Jersey Turnpike ($0.11 and $0.31 cents per mile) and the Pennsylvania Turnpike ($0.14 per mile), NYSTA says.