Assemblyman Michael Cusick (D-Mid Island) in a letter to MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota expressed his outrage over a proposal for additional fair and toll hikes that would raise the cash toll for the Verrazano Bridge westbound from the current $13 to $15.
“For close to half a century Staten Island has been supporting the infrastructure of the MTA through exorbitant tolls on the Verrazano Bridge. These tolls further increase the cost of commerce for our business community and place financial hardship on workers and families who travel throughout the city. Staten Islanders are forced to pay these high tolls because we cannot leave our Island without crossing a toll bridge. Staten Island does not have even close to adequate mass transit options; and yet our toll money supports the cost of services on New York City subways and the Long Island Railroad. Another round of toll increases simply is not acceptable,” said Cusick.
“With a total of nine bridges and tunnels used by approximately 800,000 drivers daily it is apparent that the MTA needs to find revenue neutral solutions that will permit it to operate without once again reaching into the pockets of toll paying Staten Islanders,” Cusick continued.
“Taxpayers on Staten Island who have no choice but to pay these inflated tolls are used by the MTA as a bottomless well. Enough is enough,” concluded Cusick.
The MTA will hold public hearings in November before voting on a final budget in December.