It’s a bridge too expensive for Brooklyn residents.
The nose bleed-inducing $19 toll on the Verrazzano Bridge has prompted local pols to call for a discount for Brooklynites who regularly travel to Staten Island.
State Sen. Andrew Gounardes (D-Bay Ridge) announced a bill Tuesday that would allow commuters who make at least 10 trips a month across the span to receive the same discount as their Staten Island neighbors. Recent toll hikes made the span the most expensive crossing in the nation.
“New York City should be known for pizza, bagels and baseball, not the most expensive toll bridge in the country. It’s time to level the playing field,” Gounardes said.
Drivers with E-ZPass are currently charged $12.24 to cross from Brooklyn to Staten Island. Staten Islanders pay a discounted $5.50 per trip as part of the MTA’s Resident Rebate program. The borough’s residents qualify if they make at least three trips a month across the Verrazzano-Narrows.
Assemblywoman Mathylde Frontus (D-Coney Island) is sponsoring the bill in her chamber.
“The line has to be drawn somewhere when you see consistent increases in fares without corresponding tangible benefits being produced to match the burden,” she said.
Rep. Max Rose and state Sen. Diane Savino, both of whose districts include communities on either side of the bridge, and Councilman Justin Brannan (D-Bay Ridge) offered support for the legislation.
“New Yorkers who travel back and forth between Staten Island and Brooklyn regularly for work, school, or to visit family desperately need relief from surging toll prices,” Scavino said.
Gounardes said even though there isn’t precise data on how many people would be impacted, he speculated that around 2,000 drivers would be aided by the bill.