NYS Thruway Tolls Might Go Fully Electronic

The toll collection mechanism on the NYS Thruway might go fully electronic in the near future.

Technology could take a toll on Thruway jobs – Times Union: ALBANY — Advances in technology have made a number of jobs obsolete, from telephone operators to buggy whip makers. Here in New York, Thruway toll collectors may one day be on that list as well. Thruway Authority officials say they are considering eventually going to a fully automated toll system.

There are several concerns mentioned. Let’s look at them.

1. “Officials say all-electronic system could — down the road — make human collectors obsolete”

Yes, but that’s something to cheer, not something to be concerned about. Doing more with less labor makes us collectively better-off, not poorer. And the Thruway is not (at least I don’t think it’s supposed to be) a make-work project for unions.

2. “While the move would allow the Thruway to cut costs, Thruway officials said they can’t guarantee there won’t be more toll hikes ahead …”

Umm, yeah. That might be the safest statement ever.

3. “The idea of having a government-operated mechanism that could track motorists’ movements raises questions, said Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union.”

Scratch that, this is the safest statement ever.

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