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For Immediate Release: 4/22/19
Contact: Office of Media Relations and Communications | (518) 471-5300 | public.info@thruway.ny.gov

THRUWAY AUTHORITY ANNOUNCES ECO-FRIENDLY INITIATIVES TO CELEBRATE 2019 EARTH WEEK

Thruway Authority Staff to Participate in Wildflower and Pollinator Plantings,
Trash Pick-Up and more

Select Service Areas Across the Thruway System to Hand Out Free Wildflower Seed Packets to Promote Environmental Stewardship

The New York State Thruway Authority today announced several eco-friendly measures to increase its environmental stewardship in honor of Earth Week 2019, April 20 – April 27. Thruway Authority staff will participate in a variety of “green” activities such as wildflower and pollinator plantings, trash pick-up and bridge deck sweeping, planting and repairing living snow fences, and handing out seed packets among many other projects.

“The Thruway Authority strives to be one of the most reliable and green superhighways in the nation,” said Thruway Authority Executive Director Matthew J. Driscoll. “From service areas and welcome centers offering electric vehicle charging stations, wildflower and pollinator plantings, and much more, our goal is to continue to reduce our impact on the environment.”

Recently, the Thruway Authority added its first 100 percent electric vehicle to its fleet. A new Chevy Bolt joins a fleet of 472 E85 flex fuel vehicles currently in service between the Thruway Authority and State Police Troop T and there are plans to add more electric vehicles in the future.
Currently, there are four Thruway service areas in the lower Hudson Valley and three welcome centers that offer high-speed electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. Each station is capable of supplying up to 50 kilowatts of power and enabling fast-charge-capable EVs to be powered in approximately 30 minutes. As service areas are updated and modernized, more Level 3 EV stations will be installed with the goal of having at least one per service area.

Environmental stewardship is a critical responsibility of the Thruway Authority and incorporating it into projects and activities is a strategic goal of the organization. A few of the many year-round efforts the travelling public may see include:

  • Comprehensive recycling program at each of our 27 service areas across the system
  • Planting wildflowers and the creation of additional pollinator friendly areas along the system
  • Planting additional living snow fences and restoring or transplanting tree seedlings to help reduce drifting and blowing snow from reaching the roadway in winter month

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
In the future, the Thruway Authority anticipates having at least one electric vehicle charging station installed in all 27 Thruway service areas, as well as Thruway-operated welcome centers and Thruway-owned park and ride lots. In partnership with the New York Power Authority (NYPA), there are four Level 3 charging stations located in the lower Hudson Valley (Plattekill, Malden, Ulster and Modena Service Areas), as well as three Level 3 charging stations at the Mohawk Valley, Western New York, and Capital Region Welcome Centers. These Level 3 stations allow EVs to be powered in approximately 30 minutes.

Cashless Tolling
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo also announced the Thruway will expand the benefits of cashless tolling at all toll collection points along the New York State Thruway by the end of 2020. Cashless tolling reduces congestion, improves traffic flow, reduces air pollution and greenhouse gases, which is better for the environment. In 2018, Governor Cuomo announced on time completion of Cashless Tolling at all fixed toll barriers on the Thruway.

Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge
The Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge continues to work diligently to provide measures, which benefit the environment. Examples include the use of porous pavers, LED lighting, extensive use of clean fuel technology and a range of measures to protect wildlife and the Hudson River.

Energy Saving Equipment
The Authority is continuously upgrading buildings to energy saving equipment such as energy efficient heating and cooling equipment, LED lighting fixtures and water conserving plumbing fixtures. Extensive efforts have been undertaken to upgrade roadway lighting fixture to energy efficient LED lighting fixtures, which not only reduces energy use but also better lighting of the Authority’s roadways.

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