Gov. Cuomo announced the release of a report last week which found that the New York State Canal System supports over $6.2 billion annually in non-tourism economic activity across the state. The study finds that the Canal System supports, directly and indirectly, 26,472 jobs, $1.6 billion in personal income, and $702 million in tax revenue.
The state’s 524 mile-long canal system, which is made up of the Erie and three connected waterways, was moved under the control of the quasi-independent Thruway Authority in 1992, shifting the expense of running the canals off of the state budget.
Our interest in this is that now Thruway motorists support the Canal System. Last year, the Thruway Authority tried to push through a “modest” 45% toll increase on trucks, which we were able to beat back. With the Thruway Authority trying to find a way to pay for the construction of the Tappan Zee Bridge replacement – we’re keeping a close on eye on the Thruway tolls.