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In Election Year, Cuomo Offers Lower Verrazano Tolls

Thursday, February 06, 2014 - 06:39 PM

Verrazano-Narrows Bridge (Joe Mazzola/Wikipedia Commons)

Governor Cuomo is teaming up with legislative leaders and local lawmakers to promote a plan to reduce Verrazano Bridge tolls for some Staten Island residents and businesses.

"When you toll that bridge you toll the main artery and the main line of communication" for Staten Island, Cuomo said. "And that's why you deserve the special attention and special consideration from the state of New York that you have received today."

Cuomo joined Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, State Senator Andrew Lanza and Assemblyman Michael Cusick to highlight the proposal and its bipartisan support.

Staten Island residents participating in the E-ZPass discount program would pay $5.50 instead of the $6 or $6.36 they pay now, the governor said. Commercial vehicles making more than 10 trips a month would see a 20 percent reduction.

The current cost of crossing the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge without any discount is $15 in cash (or $10.66 with E-ZPass) for passenger vehicles, and between $19 and $73 for trucks.

But critics say Cuomo's plan will cut off an important source of revenue for the MTA, and they accuse him of playing politics during an election year.

Veronical Vanterpool, executive director of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, said the state should invest in more mass transit options for Staten Island residents.

"Staten Island residents need bus service that is faster, more modern, and convenient throughout more neighborhoods and communities," she said.

The proposal, which requires MTA approval, is estimated to cost $14 million dollars, with half coming from the MTA and half from the state.

The MTA is scheduled to review the plan later this month.

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Comments [7]

CAROL from BROOKLYN

WHAT ABOUT BROOKLYN....WERE ALWAYS FORGOTTEN ...STATEN ISLAND ALREADY GETS DISCOUNT FOR THEBRIDGE FOR YEARS....I MISS GOING TO STATEN ISLAND I CANT AFFORD TO GO ANYMORE...

Feb. 08 2014 09:11 PM
CAROL from BROOKLYN

WHAT ABOUT BROOKLYN....WERE ALWAYS FORGOTTEN ...STATEN ISLAND ALREADY GETS DISCOUNT FOR THEBRIDGE FOR YEARS....I MISS GOING TO STATEN ISLAND I CANT AFFORD TO GO ANYMORE...

Feb. 08 2014 09:11 PM
CAROL from BROOKLYN

WHAT ABOUT BROOKLYN....WERE ALWAYS FORGOTTEN ...STATEN ISLAND ALREADY GETS DISCOUNT FOR THEBRIDGE FOR YEARS....I MISS GOING TO STATEN ISLAND I CANT AFFORD TO GO ANYMORE...

Feb. 08 2014 09:10 PM
CAROL from BROOKLYN

WHAT ABOUT BROOKLYN....WERE ALWAYS FORGOTTEN ...STATEN ISLAND ALREADY GETS DISCOUNT FOR THEBRIDGE FOR YEARS....I MISS GOING TO STATEN ISLAND I CANT AFFORD TO GO ANYMORE...

Feb. 08 2014 09:10 PM
CAROL from BROOKLYN

WHAT ABOUT BROOKLYN....WERE ALWAYS FORGOTTE ...STATEN ISLAND ALREADY GETS DISCOUNT FOR THEBRIDGE FOR YEARS....I MISS GOING TO STATEN ISLAND I CANT AFFORD TO GO ANYMORE...

Feb. 08 2014 09:10 PM
CAROL from BROOKLYN

WHAT ABOUT BROOKLYN....WERE ALWAYS FORGOTTE ...STATEN ISLAND ALREADY GETS DISCOUNT FOR THEBRIDGE FOR YEARS....I MISS GOING TO STATEN ISLAND I CANT AFFORD TO GO ANYMORE...

Feb. 08 2014 09:10 PM
Mark Shapp from Lenox, MA

This is typical Cuomo. Let's do big things to take care of and give breaks to motorists and the transit riders can fend for them selves. This is not surprising from a person who told the advocates for a trans-Hudson transit line on the new Tappan Zee Bridge to drop dead. Not surprising for a person who began construction of the bridge before he got the federal loan that would actually give him enough to actually finish the project.

I would like to see Gov. Cuomo give as much support for a full buildout of the Second Avenue subway and more transit services to Staten Island residents and to other under served areas in the city. And by full buildout of the Second Avenue subway I mean north and west to 125th&Broadway and south to 14th Street. And his "support" for MetroNorth New Haven Line access to Penn Station with four stations in the far east Bronx is talking the talk . He will never walk the walk but he was front and center to grandstand for the cameras at Spuyten Duyvil on 12/1/2013.

And the same modal biases are alive and well in Massachusetts. Back in 2010, at the same time MBTA was on its knees and threatening fare increases and service cuts the luminaries at MassDOT sent $13.4 mil to Pittsfield for the 970 foot runway extension at Pittsfield Municipal Airport, an airport only capable of handling private and corporate aircraft. Now those same luminaries, and their political enablers in the governor's office and in the legislature, are planning a 5% fare increase at the T but are debating whether to spread the pain to motorists with toll increase on the MassPike.

With "friends" like the Democrats in NY and MA, MTA and MBTA riders don't need any enemies. Oh, and neither governor cares whether Amtrak runs or doesn't run anywhere in the northeast.

Feb. 07 2014 08:15 AM

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