Beginning April 1, Staten Island Residents with an EZ-Pass will receive a 50-cent per trip rebate on the Verrazano Bridge.
The Governor announced the plan and the MTA approved it in February. The rebate is projected to cost $14 million. The state will pay for half and the MTA is covering the reminder from its budget.
State representatives had been working on the rebate for awhile. It is in response to the limited transit options available to Staten Island residents.
“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.
Now, Brooklyn residents are demanding a similar measure. They have the support of some elected leaders. They started a petition and a website called thetollsaretoodamnhigh.com.
The MTA would have to approve this change, as well. The MTA is facing a number of financial challenges. Another round of fare and toll hikes is set for 2015. The MTA also has to negotiate contracts with it’s workforce.
State Senator Martin Golden (R-C-I, Brooklyn) and Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R-C, Staten Island) hosted a public announcement about the effort at the base of the bridge. MTA Board Member Allen Cappelli also attended and has voiced support for additional service enhancements across the system.
They’re asking for a similar multi-trip plan that the Port Authority created for Brooklyn residents traveling over the Goethals Bridge, Outerbridge Crossing and Bayonne Bridge three or more times per month.