On Monday, October 30, 2006 the New York State Thruway Authority voted to immediately cease the collection of tolls along the I-190 in Buffalo.
The New York State Thruway Authority gave this community what it deserves and demanded - a toll-free I-190 in Buffalo. Residents from the city and the suburbs; leaders from the public and private sectors; local, state and federal officials; Democrats and Republicans were relentless in standing up for what is right and we prevailed.
Commuters forced to pay for the thruway once at the gas pumps and again at the toll booths will no longer be double taxed. Drivers will save hundreds of dollars each year. And still this action adds up to so much more than seventy-five cents in our pockets. What happened today demonstrates that Western New York has turned the corner.
The barriers of access to this region's urban core came down. The obstacles to experiencing all that Buffalo has to offer are gone. Tourists and residents from the suburbs and the city have a new opportunity to rediscover downtown. We have unlocked the door to a wealth of entertainment, athletic, historic, cultural, and natural treasures.
The public pressure exerted on state leaders and on the Thruway Authority is a case study in what Western New Yorkers can do when we are united. When united, we can change the direction of this region in terms of economics and life quality, and the removal of these tolls, while only a small step, is a sign that a new direction is emerging for this community.