Carolyn FortinoDec 6, 2017, 5:53 pmDec 7, 2017, 12:30 pm

Senator: Mario M. Cuomo cashless tolls ‘squeeze every nickel’ out NYS drivers

Flood of complaints about cashless tolling system prompts lawmaker to hold forum

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NYACK — It was designed to make the commute across the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge more convenient for drivers to pay their tolls, but since its inception, commuters say the cashless tolling system is flawed.

Many feel that the billing process is a money scheme to take advantage of those who cross.

"You're charging $100 on a $5 toll? I worked in Wall Street for 23 years; I’m a numbers guy. That's a 2,000 percent markup. That's corruption," said. John Power of Pearl River.

Power says his son's $490 worth of tolls became more than $7,000 in fines after months went by without a bill in the mail, which caused the fines to mount. The state DMV suspended his registration without him knowing. He didn’t find out until he contacted the Thruway Authority.

"We can't generate bills fast enough to get them out to the people. Which is basically admitting, we don't know what we're doing here," Powers said.

A consumer protection forum was held at the Nanuet Library after numerous complaints about cashless toll overcharges inundated the office of Sen. David Carlucci, D-NY.

Carlucci invited officials from the Thruway Authority to attend a forum to which he was told that the officials were "preparing for the upcoming snow and ice season" via letter.

Carlucci feels the system is flawed and that protections need to be put in place.

"It almost seems like they are doing everything possible to squeeze every nickel out of New York State residents to fund the Thruway Authority, and that's wrong,” Carlucci said. It shouldn't be on the backs of hardworking people in our community. We need to have a fair and equitable system and right now we don't."

In response to complaints about the cashless tolling system, the Thruway Authority says drivers shouldn’t wait for a bill to come in the mail. Instead, they advise commuters driving through cashless tolls to pay their bills online at tollsbymailny.com.

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