NEW YORK, Aug. 30 (UPI) — A New York assemblyman says New York and New Jersey toll agencies should stop charging higher EZ-Pass rates to out-of-state drivers.
Assemblyman Robert Sweeney, a Long Island Democrat, wrote a letter to the governors of both states calling for an end to the higher rates for out-of-state motorists and said millions of them should be refunded money, the New York Post reported Tuesday.
His office has been deluged with complaints, Sweeney said.
“They aren’t too happy about it,” he said.
He argued a decision by New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the New Jersey Turnpike Authority to increase prices for users of E-ZPasses issued by other states runs counter to the purpose of the toll pass program.
“E-ZPass was created to be an efficient system over a multi-state area,” Sweeney said.
The increase also will hurt the economies of both states, Sweeney said.
“Adopting reciprocal discounts will encourage travel, commerce and industry,” he wrote in the letter to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
The higher out-of-state tolls are expected to bring in $33 million this year for the MTA, which operates nine bridges and tunnels, and $16 million a year for the New Jersey Turnpike, the Post said.
The newspaper said other New York toll agencies, including the Thruway Authority and the Bridge and Tunnel Authority, give EZ-Pass discounts to out-of-state drivers.