New York State Thruway Authority

Proposed Toll Increases for July 2008 through January 2010

In 2007, the New York State Thruway Authority proposed a series of toll increases that would take effect between July 2008 and January 2010. These toll increases were expected to generate a total of about $520 million in additional revenue for the Authority between 2008 and 2012. According to Authority officials, this new revenue was needed to cover cash shortfalls projected for this five-year period.

The Authority is required by law to provide financial projections showing the need for its proposed toll increases. We audited these financial projections and found there are actions the Authority can take to reduce its need for additional toll revenue during the five-year projection period. In particular, the Authority can develop more realistic estimates of its likely Federal highway funding for the period, defer non-essential capital projects not affecting highway and bridge structural conditions, and implement more aggressive cost-reduction measures. Our audit also identifies opportunities for strengthening the management of the Authority’s capital plan. We concluded that the proposed toll increases may not be necessary, as presently envisioned. We urged the Authority’s Board of Directors not to approve the increases until it had considered our audit findings and recommendations and determined the extent to which the increases can be eliminated, reduced or postponed.

For a complete copy of Report 2008-S-6 click here.
For a copy of the 90-day response click here.