Senate approves bill allowing toll-free commuting on Thruway in Syracuse area

NYS Thruway/ CNYCentral file photo

The push to get rid of some Thruway tolls in Onondaga County has taken another step forward.

Senator John DeFrancisco, a Republican, says the State Senate passed a bill that would allow drivers to obtain a permit to commute between Thruway exits 34A, which is the Interstate 481 interchange, and exit 39, at the 690 interchange, at no cost. The only cost would be an initial fee to issue the permit.

The Thruway Authority would also have the ability to restrict the use of the permits to what it deems to be peak commuting hours.

DeFrancisco argues the measure, if fully approved, would save drivers' money, and perhaps even their lives; the Thruway is one of the safest roads in the state, DeFrancisco says, but some drivers opt against using it because of the toll. “As a result, driver safety is reduced, traffic congestion on local roads is increased, and unneeded stress is placed on our local infrastructure. This bill would help to mediate these problems and to improve public safety,” Senator DeFrancisco said in a release.

The bill now goes before the State Assembly.

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