Proposed State Senate bill simplifies cash payments to E-ZPass

New York News

(WIVB) — Cashless tolls across the entire state thruway system might be a breeze now, but next month some drivers are in for a shock. Tolls are going up by 30%, and some lawmakers want to protect those drivers who can least afford it.

There is little doubt taking down the toll plazas across the entire 496-mile State Thruway system makes the ride a lot smoother, but starting next month those in-state drivers who don’t have E-ZPass tags will be paying 30% more and if they pay by mail.

“You are going to get hit with a $2.00 surcharge for processing. That, unfortunately, is going to hurt especially the lower-income communities, and those that can least afford it.”

Sen. Tim Kennedy
(D) Buffalo, Cheektowaga

State Sen. Tim Kennedy is co-sponsoring a bill that would allow drivers to pay cash for their E-ZPass accounts at the point of sale. Such as at the Welcome Center, the Clerk’s office or at their supermarket, and the $10 deposit would also be waived.

“Individuals that have credit cards are able to use it, or a checking account are able to use it, but those that don’t have a credit card or checking account, they can’t access the system unless they use a money order, and that is a laborious program through Albany.”

Sen. Tim Kennedy
(D) Buffalo, Cheektowaga

Kennedy is co-sponsoring the measure with Senator Rachel May from Syracuse, and is trying to get it fast-tracked when lawmakers return to Albany in January.

“This is not re-inventing the wheel, this is simply creating a system that works for everyone, giving everybody the opportunity to re-load that E-ZPass at that point of transaction with cash.”

Sen. Tim Kennedy
(D) Buffalo, Cheektowaga

A spokesperson for the NYS Thruway Authority provided a statement on Friday morning:

“NY E-ZPass tags are free and there are multiple payment options for all motorists. The Pay Per Trip plan only deducts toll amounts after each use and does not require a prepaid toll balance. E-ZPass accounts can be paid for using credit cards, money orders, pre-paid credit cards or a variety of other methods similar to other consumer goods and services.”

NYS Thruway Authority

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