On Friday, Assemblyman John Ceretto, R-I-Lewiston, asked the New York State Thruway Authority to reconsider its proposal to raise tolls 45 percent on commercial trucks, a plan that was green-lit by the public authority's board earlier this week.
According to the proposal, trucks with three or more axles traveling from New York City to Buffalo would pay about $127, up from the current cost of approximately $75. Tolls were last raised on the 641-mile highway system in 2010 for all drivers, increasing the typical toll more than 25 percent.
"This proposed toll hike will have an immediate and negative effect on New York businesses and consumers at the worst possible time," Ceretto said. "I urge the Thruway Authority to reconsider their proposal to increase the cost of doing business in New York state at a time when we are trying to create jobs and make this a more affordable place to own a business."
According to the website www.truckinfo.net, there are an estimated 8.9 million people employed in trucking-related jobs nationwide, with nearly 3.5 million truck drivers, many of whom are independent owners and operators. Nationally, there are 1.2 million trucking companies with 97 percent operating 20 or fewer trucks, and 90 percent operating six or fewer trucks. The U.S. economy depends on trucks to deliver nearly 70 percent of all freight every year, accounting for $671 billion worth of manufactured and retail goods.