A little over a week ago I wrote about how motorists in Broad Channel & the Rockaways were planning civil disobedience if the MTA went through with plans to eliminate their Cross Bay Bridge toll rebate. Motorists from the respective areas pay $1.03 with resident E-Z Pass tags when crossing the bridge. They receive their money back in the form of a rebate. Yestderday’s print edition of the New York Daily News has more on plans to stage two large protests as well as packing the MTA’s Bridge & Tunnel meeting tomorrow. Brendan Brosh has more:
Rockaway and Broad Channel motorists are planning two large-scale protests this week to dissuade the MTA from abolishing toll rebates for the Cross Bay Bridge.
Queens Borough President Helen Marshall and other local leaders plan to demonstrate Monday near the toll plaza, and six busloads of residents are slated to pack Wednesday’s MTA meeting in Manhattan.
The MTA is facing a budget crisis and hopes to save $3.6 million a year by rescinding the rebate.
“We fought this battle once already, and thought it was over,” said Frank Harnisher, 70, a Broad Channel resident who was a vocal leader against the tolls in the 1990s. “People will only be bitter if they have to pay that toll again.”
Rockaway peninsula and Broad Channel drivers with E-ZPasses are charged $1.03 every time they cross the bridge, and the fee is remitted back to them in a rebate.
The program was instituted in 1998 after decades of protests.
Click here for the complete report.
The idea of them eliminating this rebate seems ridiculous. Yes, I understand that the MTA has financial issues but is $3.6 million really going to make a dent in their deficit? The answer is obviously no. The residents in these areas use the bridge to connect to the main part of Queens & driving is the best means of transportation considering the subpar bus & subway service available. Why screw them some more by taking away the rebate program? I am 100% sure they can find ways to make up this amount by eliminating the monumental amount of waste within.
xoxo Transit Blogger