Audit finds Thruway Authority struggling to collect hundreds of millions of dollars in tolls

A toll increase for the New York State Thruway is under consideration.

Audit finds Thruway Authority struggling to collect hundreds of millions of dollars in tolls

The State Thruway Authority, which completed a transition to a cashless tolling system in 2020, has struggled to collect hundreds of millions of dollars in unpaid fees, according to an audit released by State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s office on Friday.

The audit recommends ways the Thruway Authority could better identify, bill and collect tolls and related fees, including $276.3 million in unpaid tolls and fees in collection status as of March. Out-of-state drivers accounted for $119 million, or 43%, of the unpaid sum.

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The audit comes as the Thruway Authority is proposing that for E-ZPass holders statewide, rates in 2024 increase by 5% anywhere on the Thruway. And in 2027, there would be another 5% increase. The authority has been holding hearings on the proposal, which will likely be adopted later this year.

“This audit has identified ways in which the Thruway can improve its collection of tolls and fees,” DiNapoli said in a statement. “Based on the Authority’s response, I’m hopeful action will be taken to implement our recommendations to maximize revenue for the Thruway.”

In response, the Thruway Authority agreed with three of the audit’s 11 recommendations and did not say whether it agreed or disagreed with eight others.

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