Western Brooklyn

Ahead Of MTA Hikes, Local Pols Renew Calls For “Fair” Verrazano Tolls

12
Senator Golden's Office
Senator Golden’s Office

With MTA toll and fare increases set to go into effect in March, local politicians gathered in front of the Verrazano-Narrow Bridge Friday to renew their calls for a discount plan for commuters who cross the bridge three or more times a month.

Senator Marty Golden, Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny, and Assemblywoman Malliotakis first proposed the plan a year ago, calling for a 58% discount from the soon-to-be $16 cash price, to be applied to EZ-Pass holders who frequently travel over the bridge. In other words, EZ-Pass holders would see their toll price reduced from roughly $10.50 to $6.30.

The discount is identical to the discount plan currently in place for the Port Authority (PA) bridge connecting Staten Island and New Jersey, giving both precedent for a discount of this nature and statistical data based on the current plan on the PA crossings.

Golden had some strong words for the MTA.

“The MTA has once again decided to balance their books on our backs, raising fare and tolls, again. $16 a day to get to work, or school, or visit a loved one, is, quite literally, highway robbery,” said Senator Golden. “This proposal is fair, fiscally sound, and has been in use on other crossings in our area.”

Malliotakis echoed the senator’s words.

“No one should have to pay $16 to travel from one borough to another in the city in which they live. The MTA should follow lead of Port Authority and institute a multi-trip discount on the Verrazano Bridge for residents who use the crossing regularly to work, attend school, or visit friends and family,” she said.

Brook-Krasny also emphasized the fairness of the proposal saying it would “do a great deal to ease the financial burden which has been placed upon the residents of Bay Ridge & Dyker Heights.

All three elected officials are asking residents across the city to sign a petition to support this plan. They are also urging residents to call their local elected officials, and the MTA, and ask them to sign on.

Advertisement
Comment policy

12 COMMENTS

  1. Golden is such a pandering jackass. Why doesn’t he support the MOVE NY Plan for fair tolling on the East River bridges, which would reduce tolls on the Verazzano. Instead he demands that the MTA give away an important source of revenue without offering any alternative source of funds. It’s pandering, gutless politicians like Golden, who love to play Santa Claus, who are responsible for the decrepit state of the MTA.

  2. It’s the consistent, historical mismanagement by the MTA executives that’s responsible for the decrepit state of the MTA. If they didn’t have a monopolistic stranglehold on transit in the city, they would never get away with their pricing practices. The marketplace wouldn’t stand for it. No private company in any other business could get away with the sort of disparity between price vs. service that the MTA achieves. They are direct heirs to the railroad robber barons of by-gone days. They have no accountability to anyone, and will continue to pick the pockets of NYC residents (and our out of town visitors) for as long as they can.

  3. No private company in any other business could get away with the sort of disparity between price vs. service that the MTA achieves.

    All the major cell phone carriers and cable TV companies do.

    They are direct heirs to the railroad robber barons of by-gone days.

    Which were private companies.

  4. I wouldn’t know much about cell phone disparity between price and service. I use a pre-paid plan from T-Mobile. Costs me about $150 per year (though I don’t use a smartphone or text, so it’s pure voice). It’s a great deal for me.

    With cable, there are options (satellite, FiOS, over-the-air, Internet, etc.) It’s just that most people in our aging population are wedded to having a TV set to bring video into the home. They choose not to seek other options.

    The MTA, which is a “public benefit corporation”, is getting away with acting like a very antiquated private company.

  5. I wouldn’t know much about cell phone disparity between price and service. I use a pre-paid plan from T-Mobile. Costs me about $150 per year (though I don’t use a smartphone or text, so it’s pure voice). It’s a great deal for me.

    I’m glad you have a good deal with one carrier in your particular circumstances (and T-Mobile is generally better than the others). Try that with Verizon or AT&T. Try that if you want a smartphone, like most people do today.

    (Speaking of “aging population” in your following paragraph, I’m not sure that someone who avoids text and data usage on his cell phone should be describing the rest of the population as “aging.” That, if anything, is seriously old-fashioned. NTTAWWT.)

    With cable, there are options (satellite, FiOS, over-the-air, Internet, etc.) It’s just that most people in our aging population are wedded to having a TV set to bring video into the home. They choose not to seek other options.

    In my building, the only option for even semi-fast Internet is…the cable company. They charge accordingly.

  6. Re: my lack of texting. I was an early adopter of Palm handhelds and tablets, and spearheaded the launch of ebooks as a marketable product in the late 90s/early 00s. I realized nearly 15 years ago that I have no need to be connected to the Internet 24/7. Everyone who needs to contact me has been content to do so by voice (this includes everyone from my parents down to my teenage children, nieces and nephews). I’ve found no compelling reason to use a smartphone, or spend money on a digital plan where the Gigs will simply sit unused. Getting people to pay for bandwidth is one of the ways the cell companies milk people for money.

    As for the MTA, I have no problem with reasonable tolls and subway/bus fares. I don’t like the idea of East River tolls, but if it had to be, I’d be willing to pay $2-$3 to cross between boroughs (SI Bklyn; Bklyn Manhattan; etc.), and maybe $5 to leave the state (SI NJ). I think $2,50 is more than enough for bus and subway service. In exchange, the MTA needs to rein-in executive excesses, and come up with a repair and maintenance plan that makes the system worth the price. How the current management would do that, I can’t say (as I doubt they are capable of anything so crass as addressing the public good).

  7. The Move NY plan is the best option for NYC. Would balance the tolls, including reducing the VB while providing some money to close the capital budget gap and reduce traffic in Midtown.

  8. the problem is not “executive excess.” If it is, please explain with facts how. Show me how executives at the MTA make more than similar transit agencies. Compare this to Tokyo, London, etc. What % of the budget is spent HR vs. services.

    What you can do is check the state and city funding for the MTA and adjust it for inflation, and see how they both have failed to properly fund a transit agency that city the size of nyc would need. You can compare this to our competitor cities in London and Tokyo.

    The one excess the MTA does need to reign in are capital construction costs.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here