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The New York Thruway Authority begins a series of public hearings today on its proposal to raise fees on the nation's longest toll road for the first time in 17 years, a move that does not sit well with the trucking industry.

After today's hearing in Buffalo, the Thruway Authority will hold sessions in Syracuse on Tuesday and Albany on Wednesday.

"We are having a public conversation about what needs to be done to ensure the Thruway continues to play its vital role in the transportation system across New York State," said Michael Fleischer, executive director of the authority.

Under the authority's plan, tolls on the 641-mile Thruway would rise by 25 percent for passenger vehicles and by an average 35 percent for commercial vehicles. Smaller increases would be imposed on vehicles using the E-ZPass system.

Under the authority's plan, the toll cost for a car going from Albany to Buffalo would rise to $10.60, from $8.45. The cost of that same trip in a truck with a 48-foot trailer would rise by more than 60 percent to $53.75, from $32.70.

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