Assemblyman introducing bill to protect free tolling for military members on NYS Thruway

NY Capitol News

NEW YORK STATE (NEWS10) – New York Military Law grants free passage through bridges, tunnels and toll-booths and ferries for members belonging to branches of the New York Military Force when they are traveling on official government business. It includes New York National Guard, New York Air National Guard, New York Naval Militia and New York Guard.

Members of the New York Military Force have used government vehicles with E-ZPass or used a special government pass called a “Tag 9.” The toll booth operator would stamp it and the toll would be waived. The passes won’t work with new gantries, which will replace toll booths along the NYS Thruway by the end of 2020. So service members who use their own private vehicles could end up paying a lot.

“These tolls add up. Especially if you have to go to a military base downstate or wherever the case may be. It can be hundreds of dollars,” said Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara.

He served as a reservist himself.

“They [members] are on their way to military bases with orders in hand. They shouldn’t be charging them. And the only solution they can give them is being reimbursed.”

The division of Military and Naval Affairs said they are aware of the issue and working with the Thruway Authority to put a new system in place.

A spokesperson with the Thruway Authority told us the Tag 9 program will continue through the transition. Adding that they do offer reimbursement when a Tag 9 is submitted with a copy of a toll bill or E-ZPass statement. They say bills submitted in the same way will be canceled.

“To charge them is already something wrong and now they are going to try to make it right by some sort of reimbursement process. Like I said, Have you ever tried to be reimbursed by E-ZPass? We’ve all been there.”

Santabarbara is now introducing legislation calling on the Thruway Authority to make a provision restoring the benefit before cashless tolling is rolled out.

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