New York State Thruway Authority "Loses" $4.5m
According to Albany’s Times Union, the New York State Thruway Authority failed to collect some $4.5m in unpaid tolls from persistent E-ZPass scofflaws using highway I90. Thruway Executive Director Michael Fleischer defended his agency. "We have been working very cooperatively to get a contractor on board to collect the small fraction of the tolls that go unpaid." That has state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli's auditors questioning the authority's "management culture." Maybe it's got something to do with the Authority's proposed toll hikes for 2008, 2009 and 2010. The auditors get the connection: "Toll increases should not be a substitute for sound management practices." Meanwhile, in the tiny town of Halfmoon, officials are deciding how to deal with a large puddle at an intersection, which sometimes causes motorists to travel into the path of oncoming traffic; good thing they’ve scheduled a defensive driving class for February 16th. And in Guilderland, we learn that snow plowing a cul-de-sac is “quite a science.” And now you know the news.
Last summer - about half way - driving to NC (from NJ) on vacation, I realized that my EZPass was not working. (at that point I started going through the cash tolls). When I finally contacted the miserable customer service dept at EZPass -- they told me that having the transponder really doesn't matter. And given the age of my box, the battery is likely dead. When the camera takes a picture of the license, its automatically matched against a list of EZPass owners -- and the account charged. And that's what happened -- tolls on the NJ Parkway, Thruway, and the bridges I went over all showed up on my statement. In other words -- if you don't want to have the transponder in your car, don't bother. /p
DiNapoli also said the Thruway Authority failed to collect $27.5 million in unpaid tolls and penalties over a six-year period, pointing out that one out-of-state trucking company was cited for 2,226 violations and owes $59,159 in unpaid tolls. http://www.bizjournals.com/buffalo/stories/2008/01/21/daily54.html
I'm so ecstatic that something from the Times Union made it onto the site. I was raised in Albany- and yes, people there actually think the cul-de-sac science is real news that the nation should care about. It should make sense that the same people "losing" 4.5 million dollars are the ones reading and writing the cul-de-sac articles.