Perhaps at no time has the insane toll structure of charging $10+ for a round-trip on a bridge not connected to Manhattan been more apparent than during the recovery period following Hurricane Sandy, when relief workers and volunteers have been stung with the high charge.
Thirteen dollars. For workers and volunteers involved with Hurricane Sandy relief, its too much!
That’s the message from Councilman Vincent Gentile, as he renews calls for toll relief on the Verrazano Bridge. In a written statement, Gentile disclosed the contents of a letter directed to MTA Bridges & Tunnels President Jim Ferrara:
Volunteer-led groups have been absolutely crucial to the recovery in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. However, my local relief organizations have been struggling to send their volunteers and supplies to Staten Island because the $13 toll adds up very quickly. I fear – and unfortunately, I know – that paying $13, often multiple times a day, has forced South Brooklynites to divert help to other neighborhoods that are accessible without a toll.
The MTA has suspended toll collection on the bridges that go out to the Rockaways. However, the tolls on the Marine Parkway and Cross Bay Bridges were only $6.50 round-trip to begin with. To reach disaster-stricken Staten Island, volunteers must use the Verrazano, which costs cash-paying drivers $13 round trip. Continue reading »