The proposal isn’t cheap, it comes at a cost of $1 billion dollars to be paid to the Thruway Authority from other funds as yet unknown. In addition to freezing bridge tolls, Cuomo’s plan includes eliminating tolls for agricultural traffic, and a ‘tax credit’ program for regular drivers over the thruway who use EZ-Pass. Drivers who spend over $50 per year would save 50 percent.
Cuomo says he will include this plan in his state budget proposal January 13. Cuomo’s announcement was met with much praise from commuters who were worried about speculation over a rumored $14 Tappan Zee toll.
Senator David Carlucci said, in regards to the toll freeze, “Keeping tolls affordable for Rockland and Westchester residents has been a major priority of mine since joining the Senate. Today’s announcement from Governor Cuomo of a financial commitment to keep tolls on the Tappan Zee bridge at $5 until the year 2020 is a crucial step toward safeguarding the economy of the Lower Hudson Valley.”
Ed Day also commented on the matter, saying “Freezing the Tappan Zee Bridge cash toll at $5 until 2020 is critical to Rockland County’s long-term vitality. As I have said repeatedly since 2012, any increase in the already-high crossing fees would negatively impact our residents, businesses and future economic growth in the region. Knowing that the Lower Hudson Valley has historically been shortchanged with state transportation funds, I applaud Governor Cuomo for realizing the necessity to keep the toll affordable on the new Tappan Zee Bridge.”