The gas prices are still very high and before we know it, summer will be here and we are going to want to travel. Not only will we have to worry about gas prices, but the New York State Thruway isn't cheap to drive. One lawmaker is proposing a bill that would make the NY Thruway toll-free this summer.

What Is Being Proposed For the NY Thruway Tolls?

Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara wants to implement a plan that would eliminate New York Thruway tolls during the summer months. That would be all of June, July, and August. This would be done to help with the high gas prices and paying tolls. In adopting this bill, the toll-free Thruway would allow for more tourism this summer in the Capital Region and beyond.

Chrissy Cavotta
Chrissy Cavotta
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Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara said of the idea:

These active months are important for local businesses and we must do all we can to encourage economic activity when they need it the most.

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How Will The Money Be Made Up if No Tolls Are Collected?

The loss of tolls on the Thruway would be covered by a federal fund surplus that is mapped out in the plan. The New York State Thruway Authority said that this wouldn't benefit many New Yorkers because tourists come from out of state. Also if the tolls are eliminated for the summer months, the revenue stream that is used to maintain and operate the Thruway roads would take a serious hit according to CBS6 News.

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The NYS Thruway Authority also said:

Roughly one-third of motorists on the Thruway in the summer months are out-of-state drivers, so removing tolls gives them a free pass and shifts the cost to hard-working New York taxpayers. Our revenue must come from somewhere, and we think the fairest approach is that only those who use the Thruway, pay for it.

We should have an answer in the coming weeks.

Take A Peek at What the 'New' New York Thruway Rest Areas Will Look Like

The New York State Thruway is in the process of overhauling all 27 of the rest areas. Although they are only working on a handful at a time, the renderings have been revealed. Not only will they be more of an open concept, but some will also have dog parks and all will have better food options. Look for Shake Shack, Panera, Starbucks, Panda Express, Chik-fil-A, Popeyes, Dunkin, Burger King, and a new fresh concept Applegreen convenience stores. Taste NY farm markets will be at each rest area along with play areas and picnic areas. There will be amenities for commercial truck drivers including more truck parking, showers, fitness centers, and laundry facilities.