July 2, 2010
DiNAPOLI: THRUWAY AUTHORITY INCREASES
GAS PRICE MONITORING
The State Thruway Authority (authority) has
cracked down on gas stations that New York State Comptroller Thomas P.
DiNapoli discovered were overcharging motorists, according to a follow-up
audit released today. The initial
was issued in April 2009 and examined gas pricing at Thruway travel plazas.
After the 2009 DiNapoli audit, the authority
stepped up its monitoring and identified three Thruway travel plaza operators
that overcharged customers more than $16,000 for gas.
“After our audit, some service stations
continued to overcharge for gas,” said DiNapoli. “The amounts were small,
but even small amounts can make a big difference to businesses and drivers
who are frequent travelers on the Thruway. The authority is not taking
things lightly; they’ve even recommended a dealer be terminated for intentionally
ripping-off customers. Still, more needs to be done to ensure drivers aren’t
getting nickel and dimed at the pump.”
The authority contracts with Sunoco and Lehigh
to provide gas at the Thruway’s 27 travel plazas. When the authority found
out that Sunoco had overcharged customers at its Ardsley, Ramapo and Sloatsburg
stations, the authority requested Sunoco terminate the dealer. Instead,
Sunoco decided to compensate the public for the overcharges by offering
customers a “gas holiday” month during which they only had to pay the
absolute average for gas.
Of the 12 audit recommendations made in the
original audit, one was not implemented, one is no longer applicable, five
were partially implemented and five were fully implemented, including:
- Inspecting travel plaza fueling stations
in a manner that is not easily predictable;
- Ensuring all approved gas prices comply with
- Adding additional guidelines on price comparison
surveys to the Service Area Representative Manual;
- Resolving any discrepancies identified by
the test-surveys; and
- Comparing actual prices for gas charged on
days prior to inspection to the prices allowed per the contract.
The authority has 30 days to respond and
address any unresolved issues discussed in this follow-up audit.
For a copy of the follow-up audit, visit: