The MTA is giving back some money to some commuters.
At the February board meeting, the board debated and approved a rebate proposal for Staten Island residents.
It brings the cost of crossing the bridge to $5.50 for Staten Island residents in non-commercial vehicles with E-Z Passes. It also reduces tolls by 20 percent for commercial vehicles which make more than 10 trips over the bridge per month.
Drivers enrolled in the Staten Island Resident E-ZPass program will automatically receive the rebate. Staten Island residents can sign up here (proof of residency is required and the vehicle must be registered in Staten Island).
Commercial trucks must have an E-ZPass account from 1 of the 4 tolling agencies (MTA, Port Authority, Thruway Authority or NY Bridge Authority).
Governor Cuomo announced the plan at the beginning of February with elected leaders from the island. They said a rebate had been discussed for two years.
“The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge is a lifeline for Staten Island – for its residents, for its neighbors, for its businesses and for its economy,” Governor Cuomo said. “This toll relief will allow Staten Islanders to keep more of their money on the island and will make a real difference for companies that rely on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to keep their business thriving.”
The state will fund half of the $14 million cost from the state budget. Another $7 million was approved by the MTA Board. Board member Mark Page, former New York City budget director, was the lone dissenter. Page abstained and criticized the process. Other board members suggested other service enhancements and inequalities that needed to be addressed.
Joseph Giulietti, the new Metro-North President who started out as a conductor, says he will be riding the line with a board member who suggested more train. Although he didn’t anticipate being able to add more trains, he is reviewing timetables and schedules.
Some Brooklyn lawmakers have asked for a break for drivers from that borough.
The Governor’s office says if funding for the program is eliminated next year, the toll relief will end and Staten Island residents and commercial vehicles will pay the applicable toll rates.
The cost for other E-ZPass drivers is $10.66. The cash toll is $15.