GRAND ISLAND, NY - Grand Island supervisor Nate McMurray is standing with many other elected officials from Western New York, calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to either remove the tolls or make them cashless, to ease traffic congestion.
McMurray, a democrat, is calling out the top democrat in the state. McMurray took to his Facebook page Friday night to express his frustration.
"The tolls affect really everything we do on Grand Island from paving to deliveries to really every part of our life," McMurray said.
McMurray hopes Cuomo moves faster on the toll issue here.
"Three generations of citizens on Grand Island have been fighting against these tolls," he said.
McMurray says he's been unsuccessful in getting the Governor's attention.
"So why do I come to you today? Well I've written you some letters and I've been patient and I've been trying to reach out to your team but I haven't heard anything back," McMurray said.
McMurray and other elected officials want action on the tolls to reduce traffic congestion, and reduce travel costs for businesses.
"I'm more in favor of removing the toll plaza just getting rid of it, if the tolls stay then the money has to stay too," McMurray proposes that toll revenue shouldn't go to the Thruway but to the Town of Grand Island.
Earlier this year, 2 On Your Side's Jeff Preval questioned Governor Cuomo about installing cashless tolls upstate along the Thruway to Western New York, cashless tolls are already used downstate on the Tappen Zee Bridge.
"Long term it's efficient the initial cost is significant what you have to do is design all those toll plazas they have to come down," Cuomo said back in February.
The governor said cashless tolls will be phased in, but he gave no timeline for the project.
"It's always the case we're working on it, we're working on it, come on we'll figure it out," McMurray said, "This is a small matter we're talking about a couple toll booths that need to be removed I'm sure the mighty powers of New York State can figure this out."
But, it's not a small issue to the Thruway Authority, which says the Grand Island tolls generate millions of dollars in revenue every year. For example, the authority says the tolls brought in more than $18 million in revenue in 2015. That's money the authority doesn't want to lose.