Should Grand Island tolls be waived until Canadian drivers are rightfully charged?

Grand Island

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — In saying New York drivers pay tolls at both Grand Island bridges while Canadian vehicles go under the radar, a local state senator is throwing the Thruway Authority under the bus.

State Sen. Chris Jacobs is calling on the Thruway Authority to cease tolling all drivers at the spans, which have switched to cashless tolls.

Jacobs says no agreement exists between the Thruway Authority and Canadian provinces, so their license plates don’t register.

“It is simply unfair that New York State taxpayers and American citizens must pay tolls or receive fines while Canadian drivers have a ‘free ride.’ Why the Thruway Authority would not have negotiated this agreement with the Canadians before going to cashless tolling on the bridges is shocking to me,”

State Sen. Chris Jacobs in a statement

Jacobs also points out New Yorkers driving through Canada must pay tolls, and the no-billing means forgoing revenue from Canadian drivers.

In a statement to News 4, the Thruway Authority said, “The Authority is working on an agreement to send toll bills to Ontario and Quebec motorists. Once agreements are executed, we can mail toll bills to these customers. If customers do not pay their toll bills, the Authority will mail violation notices.”

Toll revenue on the Grand Island Bridges in 2018 was $17.8 million.

No word yet on how long the Thruway Authority and the Canadian Provinces will take to reach an agreement.

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