For Immediate Release: 07/10/19
Contact: Office of Media Relations and Communications | (518) 471-5300 | email@example.com
NEW YORK STATE THRUWAY AUTHORITY ANNOUNCES FORMATION OF GOV. MARIO M. CUOMO BRIDGE TOLL ADVISORY PANEL
Panel to Review Toll Rates and Potential Discount Programs
Current Toll Rates Frozen Through 2020
Written Comments Can Be Submitted to TollAdvisoryPanel@thruway.ny.gov
The New York State Thruway Authority today announced the formation of a Toll Advisory Panel to review toll rates, potential resident and commuter discount programs and commercial vehicle rates on the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge. The panel will use this opportunity to gather feedback from the public related to any potential toll adjustments at the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge. As Governor Andrew M. Cuomo previously announced, Thruway tolls are frozen through at least 2020 due to a $2 billion infusion to the Thruway Stabilization Fund included in the state budget.
“Over the last year, millions of motorists have been able to experience traveling over both spans of the new Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, and the time has come to begin the public process to review potential toll rate adjustments for the future viability of the bridge and our entire system,” Thruway Authority Executive Director Matthew J. Driscoll said. “We will continue to keep tolls as low as possible on the bridge for all motorists while providing the resources necessary to support the user-fee supported system. This objective will be informed by the public input gathered by the Toll Advisory Panel.”
Since the last Thruway toll adjustment in 2010, the Authority has implemented a number of cost-cutting measures while continuing to invest in its infrastructure. For the period 2010 through 2017, the annual growth of the Thruway Authority operating expenses has averaged only one percent annually while capital spending on maintenance, repairs and improvements to the Thruway system totaled $6 billion.
The announcement of the Toll Advisory Panel follows the implementation of Cashless Tolling at all seven of the Thruway’s fixed-price barriers .
The panel will hold listening sessions in Westchester and Rockland counties, which are connected by the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge. The members of the panel are:
- Robert Megna – Co-Chair – Mr. Megna currently serves as the Chief Operating Officer for the State University of New York (SUNY) and as Vice Chair for the Thruway Authority Board of Directors. Previously, he served as executive director of the Thruway Authority from 2015 to 2016.
- Joan McDonald – Ms. McDonald served as Commissioner of the New York State Department of Transportation from 2011 to 2015 and led the Department through several prominent weather events such as Hurricane Irene, Superstorm Sandy, and “Snovember” in Western New York. Ms. McDonald also co-chaired the Tappan Zee Bridge Mass Transit Task Force. Currently, she is the Director of Operations for Westchester County and a member of the National Infrastructure Advisory Council.
- Heather Briccetti – Ms. Briccetti is the most recent appointee to the Thruway Authority Board of Directors and currently serves as the President and CEO of the Business Council of New York State.
- Mario Cilento – Mr. Cilento is currently the President of the AFL-CIO and has served in that position since 2011. As head of the AFL-CIO, he oversees 2.5 million union members, retirees, and their families from 3,000 local union affiliates.
The meetings will be held from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on the following dates and locations:
- Wednesday, July 17 (Westchester County)
670 White Plains Road
Tarrytown, NY 10591
- Thursday, July 18 (Rockland County)
The Time Nyack Hotel
400 High Ave.
Nyack, NY 10960
Individuals attending the public sessions will be required to sign up to have an opportunity to offer remarks. Speakers will be called up in the order that they signed up and written comments will be accepted at the meetings as well. Speakers will have two minutes each to offer their remarks related to tolls and any potential adjustments and discount options. Remarks should be directed to panel members, not the audience and specifically relate to this topic.
The panelists will not be taking questions at these meetings. They will listen to comments and use them in their review.
Any potential toll adjustments along the Thruway system are subject to the State Administrative Procedure Act, Thruway Authority bond covenants and require the approval of the Thruway Authority Board of Directors.
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