New York Post
Tolls on the MTA’s seven bridges and two tunnels are set to go up April 1, with the agency’s board unanimously approving an increase on Thursday.
Current toll rates will increase an average of 7.08 percent, the MTA said.
Tolls will increase from $6.12 to $6.55 for E-ZPass users on six crossings: the Bronx-Whitestone, Triboro, Throgs Necks and Verrazzano bridges and the Brooklyn-Battery and Queens-Midtown tunnels. Drivers without E-ZPass will be charged $10.17, up from $9.50 today.
On Upper Manhattan’s Henry Hudson Bridge, tolls will increase by 20 cents for E-ZPass users and 50 cents for everyone else. The Cross Bay and Marine Parkway bridges in Queens, meanwhile, will see tolls spiked from $2.29 for E-ZPass and $4.75 for everyone else to $2.45 and $5.09, respectively.
MTA officials opted to retain a discount for Queens residents for those two bridges, as well as the Verrazzano Bridge’s Staten Island rebate — which will now apply to all borough residents regardless of how many trips per month they take across the bridge.
At the same time, the MTA has created a middle-tier for toll collection: E-ZPass users whose devices are not affixed properly will be charged a “special rate” in between the regular and E-ZPass rates.
The MTA has hiked fares and tolls every two years since 2010. But transit officials delayed scheduled transit fare hikes last month, citing widespread financial hardship and low transit ridership.
Addressing the board on Thursday, MTA Chairman Pat Foye defended the decision to still increase tolls, citing the agency’s ongoing fiscal challenges. He noted that that vehicle traffic had rebounded faster than transit ridership.
“Even with additional federal aid in the pipeline, we must continue to take action to protect our extremely fragile budget,” Foye said.
“Given the pandemic’s devastating impact on our finances, it’s all the more important that we move forward with consideration of toll increases this year.”