Rep. Michael G. Grimm (R,C-S.I./Brooklyn) issued the following statement in response to today's decision by the MTA board to raise fares and bridge tolls beginning in March. The cash toll on the Verrazano Bridge will go from $13 to $15.
"The decision to raise tolls on the Verrazano Bridge to $15 is an outrage. The MTA board has made it crystal clear that we are nothing more to them than an ATM machine to pay for its complete inability to work within a budget. As the families and businesses of Staten Island struggle to rebuild and recover from Superstorm Sandy, this toll hike is just another blow to a borough that has already been knocked down.
"How can our economy bounce back with the burden of tolls pushing us down? With these outrageous tolls, it will be impossible for Staten Island's businesses to attract talent from outside the borough. They'll lose their ability to compete and businesses will relocate or shut down.
"Families are suffering too, beyond the strain on their already tightened budget. Residents with family members in Brooklyn and Brooklynites with families in Staten Island, have already cut back visits on account of the tolls, and this hike will make those visits even fewer. This rings true for seniors on a fixed income who may simply want to cross the bridge to have lunch with their children or grandchildren. The tolls will make them think twice.
"In New York City we pride ourselves on being the best, but having the highest bridge toll in the world is a superlative that we could all do without."