NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Some people in Queens are being fine hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars for using the Cross Bay Bridge.
Folks who live in the Rockaways are supposed to drive across the span run by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority for free, but ever since cashless tolls were installed everyone has to have E-ZPass.
The MTA typically charges $1.41 to their account and then refunds it immediately. Some drivers, however, say they’re being charged a lot more than the toll.
Belle Harbor resident Stephen O’Shea sent CBS2 a stack of $100 fines he’s received. With cashless tolls, there’s no longer a sign that warns residents they have a low balance. Instead, some say they’re never notified what their balance is.
The MTA says travelling under a tolling gantry with an underfunded account is a violation.
“We use this bridge daily, so if you don’t have enough money on your E-ZPass and didn’t know that, by the time bills start rolling in you could be at five thousand dollars,” State Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato (D-23rd) said.
Queens resident Hidi Hullah she tallied a total of 75 violations worth a whopping $12,800.
The MTA says they’ll have fees the first time upon full payment of tolls, but residents say that’s not a good enough solution. A spokesperson for the transit agency says drivers have a 10-day grace period to replenish accounts before being fined.
It’s also been recommended that drivers sign up for mobile alerts to be notified of a low balance.