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Potential Tollway Increases: Impact on Truckers

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Toll Road Impact on Truckers

The proposed $90 million Thruway rate hike in upstate NY which called for a 45% increase on commercial vehicles targets large commercial trucks but everybody is going to end up paying more. Trucking companies, who are already bearing the cost of record-high diesel fuel, will have to pass the toll increases onto their customers; farmers, manufacturers and stores who are forced to inflate the cost to consumers.

Commercial trucks may seek alternate routes to avoid the toll ways congesting and possibly damaging roads not built for trucks.

Reaction to Toll Increase

The outrage over the proposed increase in tolls on the New York Thruway continues to spread like wildfire. While truckers are blasting the Thruway Authority with questions members of the general public are wondering what will happen to them as a result.

During the lunch hour Tuesday, when asked about his thoughts on the ramifications of these increases, William K, a native resident of Albany said, “I’m not a trucker, yeah. But I get it. I don’t think it’s a good idea to make the truckers pay more money, to drive merchandise to the stores, where I get to pay more money to buy it. Isn’t it expensive enough to live in here as it is?”

In an independent telephone survey conducted on August 29th, in which 100 random citizens were interviewed, 82% expressed concern about the increase, 12% said that they were willing to pay to help commerce or understood the need for the increase, 5% said they had no opinion, and 1% chose not to answer.

One local small business owner, who wishes to remain anonymous, said, “I rely on the trucking industry to keep my business going. But now, my providers are saying that they may have to increase my prices for their services to make up for these possible toll increases. I’m struggling to keep my doors open. I don’t need more expense!”

Some businesses are turning to alternative means of transportation to off-set both current and future price hikes.

“I started using a near-by small trucking company about a year ago,” said Gena C., who owns a convenience store just outside of Albany. “Their prices are lower, they are more reliable, and they tell me that any toll increases won’t affect them like the companies who are using larger sized trucks.”

While the heated debate over toll increases continues to be at the top of every coffee shop and water cooler topics-to-discuss list, change is imminent. The results of these changes, regardless of how small, will create economic waves for many years to come.