MTA Slams Drivers Yet Again, Approves Hike

If You Pay Cash, $1 Increase Coming To Most Crossings

NEW YORK (CBS New York) — The commute just got more expensive for most drivers.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Wednesday approved yet another toll hike. Some drivers will soon be paying as much as $13.

But what many motorists don’t realize is that they are already paying through the nose to subsidize mass transit, reports CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reports

  WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane reports

1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks reports

It’s the fifth toll hike in seven years and to paraphrase one of the New York gubernatorial candidates, drivers think the tolls are too damn high.

“It is terrible, absolutely terrible that we have to pay all this money,” Bronx resident Otis McCalla said.

“Things are already expensive,” Paul Nobel added.

“I think it’s unfair. We already pay a lot of money so for them to do that … it’s unfair for us,” commuter Will Pineda said.

If you take one of the MTA’s nine bridges and tunnels get ready to fork over more of your hard earned dough. It took the MTA board just minutes to approve a toll hike.

If you use E-ZPass you get a break — a 5-percent across the board hike, from $4.57 to $4.80 at the major crossings.

But if you are among the 1 in 4 who pay cash, take a deep breath. Tolls will go up $1 at most of the crossings, including the Henry Hudson, and by 50 cents at the Rockaway crossings.

“They’ve been ripping us off for years,” Staten Island resident Rick Rizzo said. “It’s insane. They should really figure out where this money’s going because to commute every day to Brooklyn, it’s just outrageous.”

The MTA wants drivers to use E-ZPass because it will lower their operating costs.

“I think we are in this way using pricing to encourage people to shift to the mode of payment that is most effective and most efficient,” MTA Chairman Jay Walder said.

But whether they realize it or not drivers are already subsidizing mass transit to the tune of over $1 billion a year.

Even before the new round of toll hikes the MTA was getting:

* $281 million from a car registration surcharge of $50 a car

* $791 million from a petroleum business tax. That’s a gas tax of more than a gallon paid by every driver in New York State.

* A 50-cent surcharge on every taxi ride

* A $16 driver license/learner’s permit surcharge

* A 5-percent surcharge on rental cars.

Robert Sinclair Jr. is with AAA New York.

“Drivers are being unfairly asked to subsidize mass transit. We already do it to a huge degree and it has to stop. Motorists do not have bottomless pockets to supplement mass transit,” Sinclair said.

The tolls will go into effect on Dec. 30 instead of Jan. 1. That way the MTA can avoid the costly overtime of having to change the signs on New Year’s Eve.

More from Paul Murnane
  • Jay

    What NYC and MTA doesnt realize is, people like me stopped shopping in NYC altogether. The lower prices of certain goods in Queens and other places does not offset the high tolls charged on the GW Bridge, and the NYC bridges.
    I stopped shopping and visiting NYC altogether, primarily due to the high tolls and arrogant traffic cops ready to hand out a ticket. I now frequent the friendlier no parking hassle stores in NJ.

  • Tony SI

    Enough is enough already the MTA is taxing the hell out of us already. We are paying takes on our utilities, taxi, and the DMV. As for Staten Island they are taxed highly by the MTA when you look at the number of cars per household and they use the Express Bus as their subway. Now the bridge is going up to $ 13.00 dollars and the loss most of the money for the bridge to the outer boroughs.
    But wait there is more let’s look at the MetroCard and what it did to the token both Clark’s they all got caned now the MTA is looking to do the same to the toll collectors so when the cut their jobs what will they find a new way to charge us for .
    Food for thought!!!

  • BF

    Dont vote for Cuomo, He is EVIL

  • tami n

    I would like to know how the disabled or retired on Social Security are supposed to afford the hikes. This is going to be the second year that we do not get the standard cost of living that anybody with a job gets. The poverty level never goes up just everything else. Very unfair what the government is doing.

  • astoriashare

    This article is ridiculous. Driving is subsidized 9 ways to Sunday. And transit riders are doing the world a favor; drivers are poisoning the world. Quit whining you spoiled slobs.

  • tilly

    search this in google:

    $85 ‘stealth tax’ pain

    My post with link to it is not being approved.

  • Howard S.

    You forgot to mention the Payroll Tax that is specifically for the MTA. Seemed they have plenty of money for new buses. If you don’t have any money, should you get a new car or make do with the one that you have?

    They have cut service and we keep paying more and more. When does it stop?

  • susan

    Quit your belly aching and just pay any and all increases….if you don’t support the fares then your not supporting the troops.

  • Proud Agnostic


  • James Valler

    Rumor has it that when a bridge or tunnel had been paid for there would be no more tolls on that particular bridge or tunnel. Oh well, just more lies and deceit from atop the dung heap.

  • Bob C

    EEEdog you are an idiot. Who do you think appoints these jerks that run the MTA.


  • sam w

    thats why we left staten island and moved to arizona
    lots less taxes and nickel and diming on the people.

  • usmcmaggot

    Yeah everyone take the URINE SOAKED, DIRTY, CRIMINAL PLAYGROUND & HOMELESS SHELTER known as the NYC Subway System to get to work…
    I love it when Bloomberg says “I use Mass Transit” as he’s surrounded by 5 bodyguards…

  • usmcmaggot

    If Bloomberg did’nt spend $800 Million dollars on his FAILING “Citytime” Payroll project & the MTA did’nt build the VERY UNNECESSARY 2nd Avenue Subway we (NYC) would be ahead over 1 BILLION DOLLARS!!!!

  • Rintrah

    Agreed that MTA needs more accountability. I have a solution: privatize these bridges and tunnels. You know what will happen then? Tolls will be $30. each way.

    Get over it, people. Ditch the cars. If you can’t handle the commute, live/work somewhere else.

  • pf

    the one thing that i think is ridiculous is the monthly service charge for the ez pass, especially iwhen you have not used it for a given mionth. to me, what a rip-off

  • CSI

    It doesn’t make any sense complaining. Everyone is going to take the subway and drive their cars anyway. Only three options. Bike, find a local job or put up with it. MTA is not going to give in to anyone.

  • mn

    and you are human?

  • joe

    Stop the complaining and move to NC like I did. No tolls here!

    • KPMc

      But you live in NC! You get what you pay for!

  • Kris

    And what did the MTA execs bring home last year? and this year? Bonus? That’s where the tolls are going…..

  • EEEdog

    Bob C, you are an idiot. You want to know how to save money? Get rid of all under performers and all new hires should be started with lower pay. Manage the thing just like any other business. Start hiring part timers, etc,etc,etc.

  • EM

    Welcome to the Big Apple?!?!?! How about “F U Pay Me!!!” as the motto for NY?

  • Clark Ken-ton

    …by bridge or tunnel?

  • Bob C

    This is what you get when Democrats run the show. Remember this next Tuesday.
    Vote Democrat and bend over.

  • Unbelievable

    The MTA is really, a monopoly. Unlike other industries, there’s no competition. That’s why they can do what the hell they want. If and when there’s an alternative form of transporting people to and from, this nonsense voting will continue for years to come. What the heck was the voting going to do if it gets approved anyway? Absurd.

  • D

    This city is financially raping it’s residents.

  • Stan R.

    what ever happened to “no tolls after the bridges & tunnels were paid for”? this is nothing more than a tax increase for people who have to drive to work and support the bloated mta.

  • jAY

    Unreal. When the bridges first opened the tolls where to pay for the cost of the bridge and repairs. There is no way that the cost of repairing the bridges has gone up 5 times in 7 years This is about mismanagement and GREED. The tolls are not to pay for some fat cats salaries at the MTA. Conduct an audit and find out where the money is going. In other states bridges are either free or $1.00. Really $6.50 each way to go to the bronx? WE CAN NOT AFFORD THIS

  • Frank

    You know, the MTA only gets money from the tolls, subway fares, and the state. They have no other means of income. When one goes down, another must go up, and the state is not giving enough to the MTA.

    • Joe Nardiello

      You’re wrong: a new 2009 dedicated MTA Business Tax — that hit every small shop in NYC with a $70-$170 fee (what does that amount to?).. plus everyone phone’s bill in NYC has an MTA fee of $0.25 or better per month, etc. the MTA draws revenue from many sources — and no one truly has faith in how it is spent.

  • Joe Nardiello

    Let’s start forcing Albany to start managing this — by disbanding the MTA, finding competent leadership and having elected offices be proactive, other than simply pointing figures. Vote for it:

  • Ken

    Each day there are thousands of cars paying $5.50 cash or $5.00 easy pass, each way,, and always a traffic jam. There is no way that that already ridiculously high toll is not paying for maintenance of the bridges… There is no alternative method of commuting from Northeast Queens to Bronx and Westchester. They cannot take mas transport, unless they wish to take many hours to get to work. These commuters should not be subsidizing the MTA, just the bridges they cross.

    A serious independent audit needs to be conducted of inefficient use of the tolls they collect. The toll needs to be rolled back to something reasonable like $3.00 each way.

    Everyone in the private sector is suffering. An independent review of the salaries , expenses, construction contracts, , etc needs to be done immediately..

    I’m interested to hear from other commentators on alternative places to move, where quality of life improves and cost of living declines. The NYC metropolitan area,is well beyond the means of middle class people. This toll increase will motivate those on the fence to finally leave nyc.

    • Steven B.


  • Jackie

    Does that mean it will now cost TWELVE DOLLARS to cross the Verrazano Bridge. Yet it remains FREE to take the Brooklyn and Williamsburg Bridges?! INSANITY. UTTER NONSENSE.

  • Bob

    Bilking Donut Eating Union People

  • The Good Samaritan

    Totally ridiculous
    The Good Samaritan has spolen

    • MN

      LOL good one

    • The Better Samaritan

      What is rediculous is your spelling.

      • The Best Samaritan

        Rediculous? Really? If you are going to leave a comment insulting someone’s spelling, at least make sure YOU spell correctly. GEESH!!

  • SMH

    Vote? that’s a joke! its just an announcement of fare hike. If my vote can be heard, I would vote for an MTA investigation … these fare hikes are a serious crime

  • Gary Martin

    The Politicians and the MTA are all in this together thats WHY I dont vote they do as they please.

    • Leon K

      Great job Gary Martin. Just sit there and do nothing, that’ll definitely change their minds about working “for the people”…

      • Jamie

        Folks that do not want to vote for particular candidates should go to the voting booth, not select a canditate, and pull the lever; in effect, casting a vote for no one. If more people did this, politicans would get the message…

  • Greg


    • melissa

      Bloomberg is great with his own money and thats about it.

  • Ann Margaret

    Its ridiculous it costs $11.00 to cross the Verrazano, its not worth that much to go into Staten Island.

    • Michael H.

      Think of it as costing you $5.50 each way and you don’t have to deal with Brooklyn bound tolls. It’s no more expensive than the other crossings around the city. If you want to save a few percent, get an EZPass.

    • GaGa

      So don’t go Ann. Stay home please

  • CSI

    Thats the price to pay living in NYC.

  • Andy

    how come I think I already know the outcome of the vot?

blog comments powered by Disqus
Giving Tuesday
Charles Osgood Event

Listen Live