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Jacobs calls for suspension of Grand Island tolls until Canadian drivers pay 'fair share'

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Fri, Aug 9th 2019 06:00 pm

Says it’s unfair for American drivers to pay tolls while Canadians get ‘free ride’

New York State Sen. Chris Jacobs is calling on the New York State Thruway Authority to stop charging tolls at the Grand Island bridges until Canadian drivers are also required to pay tolls.

Recently, it was discovered by local news outlets that Canadian drivers can drive at no cost over the Grand Island bridges because no agreement exists between the Thruway Authority and the Canadian provinces to charge Canadian license plates. Contrast that with the 407 Toll Road to Toronto where all New York drivers must pay the toll when they drive that Canadian roadway.

“It is simply unfair that New York state taxpayers and American citizens must pay tolls or receive fines while Canadian drivers have a ‘free ride,’ ” Jacobs said. “Why the Thruway Authority would not have negotiated this agreement with the Canadians before going to cashless tolling on the bridges is shocking to me.”

Jacobs noted thousands of Canadians pass over the bridges on a regular basis, meaning millions of dollars are lost due to this oversight.

“In a way, U.S. drivers are subsidizing the roads for Canadians,” Jacobs said. “This needs to stop.”

Jacobs called for the suspension of tolls on the Grand Island bridges in a letter to Matthew Driscoll, the executive director of the New York State Thruway Authority.

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