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NYS SHOULD OFFER WESTCHESTER/ROCKLAND COMMUTERS DISCOUNTS WHEN CROSSING TZ BRIDGE
Release Date: April 02, 2012

NYS OFFERS BUFFALO COMMUTERS SUBSTANTIAL DISCOUNTS (9 CENTS VS. $1) WHEN CROSSING GRAND ISLAND BRIDGE. NYS SHOULD OFFER COMMUTERS WHO CROSS TAPPAN ZEE BRIDGE SAME BENEFITS. BRIDGE TOLLS COULD EXCEED $15 BY TIME BRIDGE IS BUILT.
westchester and rockland residents should receive discounts --just like Buffalo


In recent months there has been substantial discussion about some aspects of the Tappan Zee Bridge plan: mass transit on the bridge, the possibility of having a Tappanbridge park, and train station at the bridge are some issues that have received some attention. There is another issue that deserves more public discussion and attention: how much is it going to cost Westchester and Rockland residents to cross the bridge?

The Executive Director of the NYS Thruway Authority has estimated that tolls on the new bridge will be similar to those of other Hudson crossings. Current cash tolls at the George Washington Bridge are $12, with E-ZPass, $9.50 peak hours (6-10 AM, 4-8 PM: Saturday and Sunday 11 AM-9 PM) and $7.50 off-peak. Note almost the whole weekend is peak toll! These tolls are already being considered for increases again. By 2017, when the bridge is built, the tolls will be much more.

We need to protect Westchester and Rockland residents from bearing the full brunt of this cost as this structure is a lifeline for the ENTIRE State of New York- not just Westchester and Rockland Counties! During 9/11, it was the only way supplies made it in to NYC from Stewart Airport! Both counties need reasonable access cross the bridge
for work, shopping, recreation and family, which an unreasonably high toll would
prohibit. It would also have a negative impact on the economies of both counties. Clearly, legislation is needed to protect the residents of both counties from
unreasonable tolls.

Our state lawmakers need to address this. We need legislation similar to the provisions in Buffalo. Buffalo lawmakers were successful in getting the state and Thruway Authority to agree to special toll arrangements - a residential rate for Westchester/
Rockland residents. In Buffalo the Thruway Authority allows residents who cross the Grand Island Bridge to pay only 9 cents to cross the bridge vs. $1 for everyone else.
Why should the state allow residency discounts only for Buffalo commuters? If residency discounts are allowed in Buffalo they should also be offered to commuters


who cross the Tappan Zee Bridge. The following is from the NYS Thruway Authority website: Thruway Grand Island Resident**: Receive a $0.91 discount per trip ($0.09 versus the cash $1.00 per trip) on the Grand Island Bridges. Proof of Grand Island residency required. No minimum usage is required. Residency status is subject to
periodic review. If this plan is selected, the $25 required prepayment in Box B of application is waived. Plan Code: (GIR) - Required Prepayment ($5.00).
* Attach a copy of one of the following: vehicle registration, driver's license, or utility bill. A vehicle registration may be used on only one E-ZPass account. Residency status is subject to periodic review. ** You must provide a copy of your driver's license, utility bill or lease agreement AND a copy of your vehicle registration for each E-ZPass Tag requested. A vehicle registration may be used on only one E-ZPass account. Residency status is subject to periodic review.



Paul Feiner
Greenburgh Town Supervisor


 

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