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Staten Island Activist To Protest New MTA Toll Hike With Pennies

Tolls (credit: CBS 2)

Tolls (credit: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – As of 2 a.m. Sunday, new MTA fare hikes are in effect on all bridges and tunnels. For drivers traveling over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge without E-ZPass, the trip will now cost $15.

A Staten Island artist and activist is so outraged that he plans to pay his toll in only pennies.

“It’s frustrating, it’s insane,” Scott LoBaido told WCBS 880′s Jim Smith. “How do you fight the man? How do you fight the man spelled MTA?”

LoBaido said he held a similar penny protest in 2009 when the toll on the Verrazano went up to $11.

“They do not like to take pennies but it is legal tender and they must take the pennies,” he told Smith.

He added that the toll increase is killing Staten Island’s economy.

“We got businesses here, truckers who are paying $30 an axle. It’s just insanity,” LoBaido said.

He’s encouraging other drivers to break out their change purses all week to stage a similar penny protest.

“I think it’ll screw up the MTA’s system a little bit, maybe a lot a bit,”

The regular E-ZPass rate for the Verrazano is now $10.66. Staten Island residents who have registered with the MTA will pay $6.36 for their first two trips over the Verrazano in a month then $6.00 for all trips after that.

Tolls went up on all seven bridges and two tunnels operated by the MTA. Click here for more information on the MTA toll hikes.

Will you follow LoBaido’s lead at stage a penny protest? Sound off in the comments section below…