Contact: Norita Taylor, email@example.com
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For Immediate Release
(Grain Valley, Mo., Nov. 14, 2012) – The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, OOIDA, the largest U.S. association representing small-business truckers, said the unrealistic 45 percent toll increase proposed for the New York Thruway would hurt businesses and mean higher costs for New York consumers.
Truckers wholeheartedly oppose a toll increase because, among other reasons, dollars collected from tolls are too often diverted away from maintaining and improving the toll road.
For example, the NY Thruway has subsidized operating costs for the Erie Canal.
Terry Button, an owner-operator from Rushville, NY, said that residents and businesses in New York cannot afford for the Thruway Authority to continue to operate in such a manner.
“Why should we subsidize the Erie canal with money we spend on the Thruway?” asks Button. “It’s a slap in the face for everyone that spends money on the Thruway for them to be so irresponsible.”
Button also asks, “How can they justify spending $90 million to generate $2 million? If anyone else did that, they would be out of business.”
OOIDA has previously submitted comments opposing the proposed toll hike while pointing out the Authority’s own financial ineptness.
“Multiple management reviews have shown the Thruway Authority to be no more than modern day robber barons as one of the most wasteful tolling authorities in the nation,” said Spencer. “They are trying to mask their bureaucratic inefficiencies and mismanagement by dumping it at the feet of hard-working men and women who are already paying significant portions of their own family income to use the Thruway.”
OOIDA also has said that a truck-only increase will force many truckers to cease using the Thruway, and many others to simply stop providing transportation services to New York entirely.
Louis Esposito, an owner-operator from Duanesburg, NY, said that many motorists avoid the Thruway already because of previous toll hikes and has other serious questions for Thruway officials.
“I see people all the time running alternate routes to avoid the Thruway, but what I really want to know about, is what the Authority is doing to reduce their costs. They want truckers to take a 45 percent hit, so what are they doing on their end?”
The Thruway has refused to provide agendas for several recent meetings, all of which have been canceled. Reports indicated that the increase would be passed.
Spencer adds, “The Authority knows it’s a bad policy and that is why they appear to be attempting to sneak this in under the public and media radar. Without trucks bringing equipment and relief supplies due to Hurricane Sandy, where would the state be right now?”
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is the largest national trade association representing the interests of small-business trucking professionals and professional truck drivers. The Association currently has more than 150,000 members nationwide. OOIDA was established in 1973 and is headquartered in the Greater Kansas City, Mo., area.