Canal Corp. waives tolls for recreational boats through 2021
Recreational boats will be able to continue to use the New York State Canal System toll free through 2021, after the New York State Canal Corporation Board of Directors approved an extended waiver this week.
The $25 to $100 toll had been waived in 2017 and 2018 to celebrate the Erie Canal bicentennial and the 100-year anniversary of the New York State Barge Canal, now known as the New York State Canal System, according to a news release from the Canal Corporation.
“We had initially waived the tolls for special occasions, but the increased patronage of the canals is also a cause for celebration,” said Gil C. Quiniones, president and CEO of the New York Power Authority, which oversees the Canal System. “Come spring, we hope even more boaters will find out why the canals make for a unique experience on the water.”
Commercial vessels will continue to be charged the tolls, which depend on the size of the boat, the release said.
Motorized pleasure boat traffic on the state canal system increased 3 percent over last year as boaters took advantage of tolls being waived, the release said
The state recorded those vessels traveling through canal system locks and lift bridges 71,529 times during the 2018 navigation season, compared to 69,362 lockings in 2017, the release said.
Those numbers account for each time a boat goes through a lock or under a lift bridge, not the actual number of boats. If one boat travels through several locks it is counted separately at each one, the release said.
The New York State Canal Corporation also announced the navigation season dates for recreational vessels for 2019-2021.
Each year, the season will begin the Friday of the week before Memorial Day and end the Wednesday after Columbus Day, the release said.
For example, the 2019 season will run from May 17 to Oct. 16. Operating hours for 2019 will be announced in April.