Updated 07/17/2012 05:59 PM
Potential toll hike transcends the highway
A 45 percent toll hike for commercial drivers on the Thruway could make life off the highway more expensive, too. YNN's Erin Vannella reports.
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ALBANY, N.Y. -- "Everything that comes into your house, whether you know it or not, has been brought to you by a truck," said Midland Farms truck driver Joe Crandall. "So give us a break, will ya?"
A proposed 45 percent toll hike for commercial vehicles is driving truckers off the Thruway, some maybe literally.
"The little guys are going to get forced out of business more than they already have been," said Crandall. "You're just putting a bigger strain on them. If you have to pay more to send it then you're going to have fewer drivers on the road to be able to do it."
According to the Thruway Authority's website, the Authority's independent traffic engineer has estimated its current revenue won't cover costs. But drivers and plan critics say it wouldn't just affect companies' bottom lines, but grocery store receipts, too.
"I think as consumers, we hear that this is just on commercial traffic," said NYS Retail Council Executive Vice President Ted Potrikus. "So we think, thank god it's not on my car, but it will be because ultimately it will be on the price of milk, on the price of dog food, all those things that get shipped to the stores."
And not just pennies more. Crandall, who drives for Midland Farms, says it'll equal tens of thousands of dollars more a month for his company.
"I mean, you're probably seeing thousands and thousands of trucks every day and I would hate to even imagine how much toll they're already generating and how much they want to generate," said Crandall. "That's crazy."
But the Thruway Authority needs cash to meet their bottom line, too. Drivers just wish they'd find another way.
"Whenever there's an added price to the cost of getting a product to the store, the companies have to recoup their loss somehow so it gets passed on to the public," said Crandall.
Assemblyman George Amedore criticizes the Thruway Authority's plan and has asked it submit any proposed hikes to the legislature. The Senate and Assembly would then have to approve the measure.