What to Know
Greyhound has racked up more than $760,00 in unpaid NY Thruway tolls, with some of the violations dating back to 2011
The revelation came in a list of top toll violators requested under the Freedom of Information Law
The bus company says a mistake was made with license plates and that it has worked to resolve its debt
Amid a crackdown by New York State on E-ZPass toll violators, the NBC 4 New York I-Team has discovered Greyhound is a top offender, having racked up more than $760,00 in unpaid tolls on the New York State Thruway. Some of the violations date back to 2011.
The revelation came on a list of top toll violators requested under the Freedom of Information Law.
Greyhound’s parent company, First Group Leasing Nominee, is the runaway No. 1 scofflaw with 7,410 open violations – and a debt to the state of $763,738.
New York is currently running an advertising campaign intended to encourage drivers to purchase E-ZPasses. The state has also increased penalties for repeat violators and is scanning license plates at cash-less tolls to help nab offenders.
“Toll evaders flaunt the law and do so on the backs of hardworking New Yorkers who play by the rules,” Gov. Cuomo said in January when he announced the new measures.
For six years, the Thruway Authority sent collection notices to First Group Leasing in Dallas, Texas. But it wasn’t until this year that the state realized First Group is affiliated with Greyhound and its sister brand Bolt Bus.
Now the Thruway Authority and Greyhound say an administrative mixup related to E-ZPass is to blame for the bus company's enormous debt.
“E-ZPass account holders are required to update their license plates on their account. It is apparent that this company did not update their license plates contributing to the violations,” a spokesperson for the Thruway Authority said.
Greyhound agreed a mistake was made with license plates.
“Our belief is that when the file was sent to NY E-ZPass, they uploaded the incorrect data column and it resulted in our plates being improperly listed,” a Greyhound spokesperson said. “The NY Thruway Authority has several addresses on file for us, including prior mailing addresses, resulting in us not receiving many of the notices.”
Greyhound said it worked to resolve its debt.
“We have come to an agreement with the New York Thruway Authority on the amount to be paid by Greyhound to settle the fines we owe,” a spokesperson said. "We will be paying the balance agreed upon on our next routine payment cycle ... We have been in good standing with the New York Thruway Authority for many years, and will once again be in good standing as the issue has been resolved."