This morning, Joe Robach from the New York State Senate, and John Batiste, President and CEO of Klein Steel Service, Inc. in Rochester, joined other local small business owners and business organizations to highlight the negative effects the proposed toll hikes would have for commercial trucks on the New York State Thruway.
The New York State Thruway Authority has proposed a 45 percent toll increase for commercial trucks on the Thruway. According to the Thruway Authority, this increase, if enacted, would be implemented by October.
Senator Joe Robach said, “While the State is advertising itself as ‘Open For Business’, this toll hike would send the exact opposite message to businesses and their customers. The Thruway is a vital lifeline for Rochester and all of Western New York, and the impact of this increase would go well beyond just the costs to local small businesses.”
Klein Steel Service, Inc., whose headquarters are at 105 Vanguard Parkway in Rochester, currently has a fleet of 21 tractor-trailers. Of Klein Steel’s 21 tractor trailers, 18 would be affected by the proposed toll hike. For Klein Steel’s 14 Class 4H trucks (vehicles with four axles and a height of 7’6” or more), a trip from Rochester (exit 45) to Newburgh (exit 15) would increase from $54 to $78 per trip, based on figures released by the Thruway Authority. The other 4 trucks in Klein Steel’s fleet are Class 3H (vehicles with three axles and a height of 7’6” or more), which would see an increase from $49 to $71 per trip.
John Batiste, President and CEO of Klein Steel Service Inc., said, “With our fragile economy, this is the worst time to implement such a dramatic increase in Thruway tolls. If this toll hike is allowed to take effect, it will result in more unemployment, lost business, and a further decline in manufacturing in New York State. Businesses throughout New York State are looking to achieve efficiencies and cost reductions; we expect the New York State Thruway Authority to do the same. Now is the time to walk the talk.”
Mike Durant, State Director for the National Federation of Independent Businesses, said, “I applaud the effort by Senator Robach to push back against a proposal that does nothing but stifle businesses, cost jobs and further close New York’s doors for business. I join Senator Robach in calling on both the Governor and the Thruway Authority to reconsider this ill-timed proposal and push for more constructive discussions on the needs for New York’s small businesses.”
Over 13,000 companies of all sizes, including farms and grocery stores, fuel suppliers, lumber mills and manufacturers are opposed to the toll increase. In addition to NFIB, more than 20 business organizations across the state including the New York Farm Bureau, the Motor Truck Association, and Unshackle Upstate have announced their opposition to the toll hike.
Senator Joe Robach, representing the 56th Senate District, said, “The State must become more competitive for businesses and jobs. The proposed Thruway toll increase would only hurt our efforts to expand our economy and create jobs here in Rochester and across Western New York. It should not go forward.”
About Klein Steel:
Founded in 1971, Klein Steel Service Inc is the region’s premier metal service center with six locations throughout New York. With over 3,200 line items of stock size carbon, stainless steel, and specialty metals, the company also offers a full range of value added processing and a fully integrated distribution network that extends the Klein Steel reach throughout the country. Klein Steel is acknowledged as an innovator and industry leader, having been named a 2011 IndustryWeek Best Plants winner, recipient of Rochester Top 100 multiple times along with honors as one of New York’s Best Companies to Work For. For more information about Klein Steel Service Inc. visit www.kleinsteel.com.
For more information on this or any Senate initiative, contact the office of Joe Robach.