The New York State Thruway Authority has decided against a 45 percent increase in tolls for trucks and will instead reduce operating costs by $25 million this year and with fiscal reforms of $130 million over the next three years, officials announced Monday.
Thruway Authority board members approved the moves as part of the authority’s 2013 budget.
The authority will reduce its workforce by 6 percent, or 361 jobs, by the end of 2013, it said. It also will reduce significantly discretionary travel and overtime expenses, and freeze managers’ salaries.
The authority also plans to eliminate reimbursements paid to the State Police for its Thruway patrols.
The possibility of a toll hike on vehicles with at least three axles has been criticized by state business organizations that cited its potential impact on the economy.
“We are very pleased that the Thruway Authority has withdrawn its ill-advised 45 percent truck toll hike,” said Brian Sampson, the Rochester-based executive director of the Unshackle Upstate coalition of businesses and employees.
“Had it gone through, it would have done tremendous damage to the upstate economy.”
Sampson challenged the Thruway Authority to find ways to cut costs to make the Thruway financially viable.
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