For the second year in a row, local politicians gathered at the 92nd Street entrance of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to call for a discounted toll rate for Brooklynites who drive across the bridge three or more times a month during a press conference on February 24.
“It’s fair, it’s right and it’s the honest thing to do for the people of Brooklyn,” State Senator Marty Golden said. “We can’t just keep gouging the people here. They need relief.”
Golden, who was joined by Assemblymembers Nicole Malliotakis and Alec Brook-Krasny, renewed calls for a 58 percent discount on the soon-to-be $16 cash toll for EZ-Pass holders in Brooklyn who travel across the bridge three or more times a month.
With the coming MTA toll increase of $1, it will cost daily commuters $320 a month to drive over the bridge five times a week,based on the undiscounted cash toll. Under the proposed discounted rate, each trip would cost EZ-Pass holders $6.72 and drivers would pay only $134 a month, according to Golden.
“This is not only necessary; this should have been done a long time ago,” he said.
Malliotakis urged the MTA to follow the lead of the Port Authority, whose identical multi-trip discounted toll program helps to ease the financial burden of everyday commuters in the city.
“No one should have to pay $16 to travel from one borough to another in a city in which they live,” she said. “The people of Brooklyn deserve this break.”
“We want a break for the middle class,” Brook-Krasny said. “It’s a fair proposal and will do a great deal to ease the financial burden which has been placed upon the residents of Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights.”
There’s already a discounted toll available to Staten Island residents, who now pay just $5.50 per trip over the Verrazano. That will rise with other tolls on March to $5.74 per trip. Both amounts include exclusive Staten Island resident rebates.
The speakers encouraged residents to sign their online petition at thetollsaretoodamnhigh.com in an effort to urge the MTA to implement the discounted toll plan.
“If this is $16 today, what’s it gonna be in four years?” Golden said. “Gimme a break!”