Grand Island Tolls Increase 33.3333%

8 Jan

The cover charge to enter Grand Island just went up. They have this guy to answer to.

The Thruway Authority had promised that tolls would increase by 10% across the system, but didn’t suggest that the increase on Grand Island would be higher. Two years ago, the toll increased from 50 cents to 75, and now it’s a dollar. 100% increase in 3 years? Welcome to New York.

The Thruway explains that toll and barrier tolls are rounded up to the next quarter.

When I heard about the increase, I thought it was the Thruway extending a middle finger directly at Rus Thompson. Sign his petition to eliminate the Grand Island tolls here.

11 Responses to “Grand Island Tolls Increase 33.3333%”

  1. billybob January 8, 2008 at 6:38 am #

    I guess Rus is pretty ineffective.
    Funny thing is that it is Rus’s own GOP buddies giving him the shaft:
    Jeff Williams is from Lewiston and owns hundreds of apartments on Grand Island (his daddy is the garbage dump magnate Harry Williams who lives on GI and is a big GOP supporter – He’s the Joe Cicconi of Garbage) was Pataki’s last appointment to the Thruway Authority. The Thruway Authority is still majority controlled by Pataki’s team as Spitzer hasn’t yet made his mark there. Rus: you’re just a patsy in their game.

    Wasn’t also Pataki who put the Canals under the Thruway? And now the GOP (Tidisco) are complaining about it. What theatre!

  2. hank January 8, 2008 at 8:56 am #

    I hope billybob is one big ol’ boy, because I’ve seen Rus when he’s mildly pissed, and I wouldn’t want to go toe to toe with him.

    It may appear to the untrained observer that “Rus is ineffective”.
    Those of us who know him applaud his stick-to-it-ness, and the fact he stays a bug under the skin of those who have no compunction to find ways to fleece the taxpayers of WNY, and in this case those out of towners coming thru on the interstate.

  3. Rus Thompson January 8, 2008 at 9:47 am #

    Geez, billybob is the illuzzi this year chasing me around the forums bad mouthing me. First of all it was Cuomo that dumped the canals into the thruway budget, it was Cuomo that sold the thruway to itself as a way to get one shot revenues to help keep this state afloat. The Thruway Authority is a borrowing agency for the state for 100’s of millions of dollars that we toll payers fund.

    Ineffective? The Grand Island GOP is not my Party, far from it. If you educated yourself you will find out that I went after them for corruption here on the island. I won’t name names but they love to use the zoning enforcement officer and building departments as political hitmen against businesses. I have years of letters to the editor in my website for your reading.

    Billybob and a few wackos here on the island want the toll payers of this area to pay for their gated community, they like the tolls as it keeps businesses from succeeding and growing, and God forbid a business wants to come here. Same thing with people, this is their community and no one else’s, let the little people pay the tolls to keep us from growing, after all there are to many people here on the island. They certainly do not want any more people moving here.

    Thing is, the zoning and master plan here that has been approved and in place keeps the very things they do not want from happening here. The racist and elitist emails I have gotten are disgusting and the threats to me and my family are getting tiring.

    He and the others blow off the big picture to keep GI from going anywhere. The corruption in the NYSTA, the 72 years the tolls have been in place and the issue of the money leaving the bridges when they claim it stays to fix them. Do we need a bridge collapse before something happens to correct the wrongs here?

    Gov Spitzer is the CEO, CFO of this state and if he claims he has no control over the Authorities then the Authorities are running this state and that should worry all of us. Ineffective? NO, I truly think they are worried, worried that I have been able to expose them for what they are. As far as Williams owning apts? I have no idea but will find out. He happens to agree with me in getting rid of the tolls and giving this to the NYSDOT. Jeff is also the only one that voted no to the coming toll increase. 8,069 people disagree with billybob.

  4. Mike Calanan January 8, 2008 at 10:42 am #

    A dollar?! Before we left Buffalo we became habitual shunpikers, here’s how my wife and I would greet the tollboths as we bypassed them:

    (naughty hand gesture follows)

    http://flickr.com/photos/calanan/111953076/

    Cheers, Alan,

    – mike in SLC

  5. eliz January 8, 2008 at 11:21 pm #

    River Road is how I go. But the fact that the hike went through is deeply disappointing.

    I was paying them with pennies for a while, but I couldn’t keep it up.

  6. Pauldub January 8, 2008 at 11:53 pm #

    When they start the redecking, a lot of people will be taking river road.

  7. Rus Thompson January 9, 2008 at 12:31 pm #

    2008 starts the re decking process with most of the work being done under the bridge. 2009 comes the long slow process of replacing the concrete decking. We were able to put enough pressure on the TA to do the work at night and keep the bridge open during the day, originally they were going to shut down the bridge and funnel all the traffic onto one bridge and keeping the tolls..

    Had the toll money stayed here they would not have to borrow 30 million to do this work and the bridges would not look like they do with all the structural work they need to do. Of course what is going on right now, unnoticed by many is the extra steel beams they have to put in to keep the decking from falling apart. In the past couple months pre painted steel beams have been slid in on the north bound south bridge. I have seen the crane and it is in and out of there very quickly.

    The plan right now that the NYSTA and Sam Hoyt are working on is to move the toll booths to the other side of the bridge before the GI Blvd exit. So instead of traffic being backed up onto the 290 they will sit across the bridge.

    Spending what a 100 million + to move the tolls? NO, build another bridge between the two south bridges is the best thing to do.

    There is a lot more going on with this issue that has even been touched on from the media. What I just said about the tolls being moved has not been made public yet. That came directly from the mouth of Jeff Williams when we discussed the DOT taking over this section of the highway.

  8. Mike (not hudson) January 9, 2008 at 10:04 pm #

    As long as the bridges dont fall into the river i think you should be happy, it is a user tax. But why do erie county tax payers have to give money to ralph wilson? there is no choice in that issue even if you never watch or been to a football game. I would say more people need the grand island bridge than a football team.(used 8 times a year) so please start a movement to end all corp welfare.

  9. bk January 9, 2008 at 10:24 pm #

    i saw a poetry reading the other day listed as “poetry by ruth thompson.” i looked at it quick and thought, for a second, it said “poetry by rus thompson.” all i could think was, holy cow, i would pay to see that!

  10. Rus Thompson January 10, 2008 at 10:52 am #

    Mike, I can only afford to fight one battle at a time, after all I was not elected.

    936 bridges across the state and only 3 are tolled, why then a user fee on Grand Island. If we go by that way of thinking then toll the Skyway. There are plenty of bridges in Rochester and none of them are on the Thruway, why not toll them too.

  11. Marie April 2, 2008 at 11:08 am #

    For most people who use the bridges daily the cost of $.09 ($32.85/yr) for residents and $.25 ($91.25/yr) for commuters is nothing to have a clearly plowed road in the winter. How much does it cost some of you to have your driveway plowed per season? Plus the sense of safety that if you should break down on the road a New York State Trooper or Thruway employee will be through shortly to assist you. Has anyone ever driven route 400 in the winter? Usually its one big ice rink, yet once you merge onto interstate 90 (toll road) its wet not ice. Not to mention the fact if anyone took the time to look at the license plates of the cars traveling through the cash lanes especially on weekends, 75% of those cars are Canadians and out of state vehicles. Who should pay for our out of town guests to drive our safe road? Should taxes be raised to keep the bridges safe for our Canadian visitors? To those of you who try to protest with your pennies, small change or large bills…do any of you really think the Thruway Authority cares if you pay with pennies..pennies are legal tender and it does not matter in the least. All it does is slow things down and increase the wait time for cash paying motorists. So in a sense some of you are responsiable for the long wait times. When you people go to the gas station and fill your tank do you pay in pennies to protest? Same Same Same. Bottom line is..Nobody HAS to pay the toll except Grand Island residents who pay $.09. River Road is free for all who dont want to pay the toll. So in suggestion, take river road and at those red lights think about bigger battles to fight like how much it cost to fill your tank because you have no CHOICE but to buy gas.

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