Last Wednesday, a federal judge ruled that the state improperly diverted toll revenues collected from commercial truckers to maintain the state’s canal system. The case was brought by the American Trucking Associations in 2010. The group wants the money that went to the canal since the lawsuit was filed returned to those who payed tolls.
The group argued that the Thruway Authority’s use of tolls to support the state’s canal system violated federal interstate commerce rules which limit state involvement in cross-border activities such as long-haul trucking. The court agreed, saying that toll revenue must be spent maintaining the roads they’re collected on, and cannot be diverted to finance other programs.
The decision will have no impact going forward, as the state’s 2016-17 state budget transferred the canal system from the Thruway to the New York Power Authority (NYPA).