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August 28, 2008

DiNapoli Announces Thruway Gasoline Price Audit

Comptroller Calls on Thruway to Post Prices on its Web site

State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office will be auditing gas prices on the New York State Thruway to determine if fueling stations on the Thruway are overcharging motorists for fuel. The gas price review will be added on to the scope of an ongoing DiNapoli audit of the Thruway’s service plaza finances. DiNapoli also called on the Thruway Authority to post on its Web site the gas prices at every rest stop on the Thruway.

“The Thruway has already jacked up its tolls,” DiNapoli said. “We want to make sure that motorists aren’t being shaken down at the pump, too. There are limits to how much stations on the Thruway can charge. Our audit will look at whether or not those limits are being adhered to.

“Anyone who drives the Thruway knows gas prices are higher, and motorists are forced to pay those prices. There aren’t a lot of options once you get on the Thruway. But just because those stations have a captive market doesn’t give them license to gouge at the gas pump. Gas prices are high enough already.

“And the Thruway should post the prices from every rest stop on its Web site so drivers can make informed decisions about where to buy their gas.”

DiNapoli noted that under the contract for Thruway services, prices for gas are limited to the lower of two cents higher than the average charged by stations in the region, or one cent lower than the highest price in the region. Regional prices are determined by weekly surveys of gas prices in each region.

DiNapoli said the audit will also examine the reliability of the regional surveys as well as the Thruway Authority’s enforcement of the price limits. Earlier this year, DiNapoli issued an audit that examined whether the calculations used in justifying proposed Thruway toll increases in July 2008, January 2009, July 2009 and January 2010 were accurate and reasonable.

Click here for a copy of the audit.



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