COMMUNITY MEETING PLANNED AT GREENBURGH TOWN HALL TO OPPOSE
TAPPAN ZEE BRIDGE TOLL HIKES--MEETING ON AUGUST 15 AT 7
AMONG PROPOSALS: NEW DISCOUNT CARD FOR THOSE ON FIXED INCOMES
TOLL HIKES SHOULD BE SHARED BY THE ENTIRE STATE. WHEN NY DOES
WORK IN BUFFALO OR SYRACUSE, WE SUBSIDIZE THEIR COSTS. COSTS OF NEW TZ BRIDGE
community leaders who object to the projected toll hikes on the Tappan Zee
bridge are invited to an organizing meeting that I will be holding on Wednesday
evening, August 15th at Greenburgh Town Hall at 7:00 PM to discuss the formation
of a citizens group to lobby for substantial rate reductions for residents of
Westchester/Rockland who cross the bridge. Greenburgh Town Hall is located at
177 Hillside Ave, White Plains. If you are interested in participating in the
task force please e mail me at email@example.com or
call me at 438 1343.
The state is now estimating that tolls on the Tappan Zee bridge could
jump to close to $14 in December 2014. Tolls are expected to almost triple from
the current amount. There would be discounts for commuters who would pay in the
neighborhood of $8.40 to cross the 3 mile span.
The Tappan Zee bridge should not be
a bridge for only the rich.. The projected increases are excessive –especially
without bus or mass transit. This will be a tremendous burden for lower income
residents of both counties, for seniors and young people. . The Tappan Zee bridge projected
toll hikes make the bridge unaffordable for many.
A possible suggestion (in addition to lobbying for mass transit/bus
service)….a new discount card for commuters who are on fixed incomes. A photo id
card could be issued to those who qualify. They would show the card to toll
collectors and pay the reduced fares.The state would set the guidelines to
Westchester/Rockland residents currently subsidize Buffalo residents who
receive a significant discount on the Grand Island bridge. Grand Island
residents pay 9 cents to cross the bridge. Non residents pay $1 per trip. Why
does the Thruway Authority give residents of the Buffalo area a big discount on
their local bridge and not do the same for residents of Westchester/Rockland?
By comparing tolls on the Tappan Zee
Bridge to the George Washington Bridge, the Thruway Authority is diverting
attention away from the real issue which is toll equity across the ENTIRE
570-mile toll facility from the New England Thruway and the Cross Westchester
Expressway in the South all the way to Albany, Syracuse and Buffalo in the North
and Western parts of the State. Tolls in NYC are not the issue- or we could look
at the Bear Mountain or Newburgh Beacon Bridges Cash Toll of $1.50 for passenger
cars as an example- after all, it's the next crossings of the Hudson to the
The toll structure across the State has
always been based on total costs along the whole system. Costs for projects in
one location have never been charged solely to that location, but rather
aggregated across the system as a whole. Toll rates in Buffalo, for example, are
not increased solely to pay for Bridge replacements in Buffalo nor are toll
rates in Syracuse increased solely to pay for bridge replacements in Syracuse.
Closer to the Tappan Zee Bridge, two decades of bridge and highways projects
along the New England Thruway did not increase tolls solely at the New Rochelle
Toll Barrier, any more than did the Central Avenue Bridge replacement on the
mainline of the Thruway in Yonkers increase tolls solely at the Yonkers toll
The Thruway is a lifeline facility for
all of New York, including its largest cities. The Authority's purpose, per the
Public Authorities Law, is "to operate a thruway system... for the benefit of
the people of the state of New York for the increase of their pleasure,
convenience and welfare, for improvement of their health, to facilitate
transportation for their recreation and commerce and for the common defense..."
Note the language to a "thruway system" and to all the benefits listed which
would be negatively impacted by deviating from the Thruway practice of equitably
distributing costs across the ENTIRE SYSTEM.