Drivers Promise Civil Disobedience If They Lose Toll Rebate

10 days ago the MTA held its monthly board meeting. However this was not the typical meeting as this one featured budget proposals to help trim an over $1 billion dollar budget deficit. I outlined the specific proposals which included the elimination of the Cross Bay Bridge toll rebate program. The proposal has been met with outrage from local residents who promise civil disobedience if the proposal becomes a reality. Brendan Brosh of the New York Daily News has more in this report:

Motorists in Broad Channel and on the Rockaway Peninsula have a warning for the MTA: If you mess with our toll rebates, get ready for pandemonium.

The MTA has proposed rescinding the rebates for locals who use the Cross Bay Bridge – a move that could save the cash-strapped agency $3.6 million a year.

But residents are gearing up to fight the move with protests and acts of civil disobedience before an MTA board vote next month.

“This is the only interborough toll in the city,” said Lew Simon, a Democratic district leader who was vocal in implementing the rebate in the 1990s. “We’re going to protest and block traffic again. We’re planning to get arrested if necessary.”

Drivers from the communities with resident E-ZPasses are charged a $1.03 toll every time they cross the bridge. The fee is given back to them in a rebate.

The program was implemented in 1998 after decades of complaints by both communities.

Click here for the complete report.

Wow, those residents are serious about this toll rebate program. We usually don’t hear immediate calls for civil disobedience when something gets proposed. Lets hope it will not have to come to that.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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[…] 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 […]

[…] rebate program on the Cross Bay Bridge. Residents & community leaders have done things from civil disobedience to protests with the intention of showing they are serious about saving this toll […]

[…] Last year when talks first began about potentially damaging fare hikes & service cuts, one particular aspect did not get much press. The aspect I am referring to is the hotly contest battle over the Cross Bay Bridge toll rebate program. I covered the issue on numerous occasions including when drivers promised civil disobedience. […]

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