The MTA is on stronger financial footing thanks in part to $ 4 billion in federal aid and the worst service cuts and layoffs averted until at least 2023.
It will also get another financial boost from drivers, approving 7% hikes in bridge and tunnel tolls after sparing metro, bus and commuter train users from fare hikes.
The planned increase will help us maintain essential services throughout the MTA system, it is also important to recognize that vehicle traffic has rebounded strongly from the peak of the pandemic, ”MTA President Pat Foye said on Thursday. .
Depending on the day, vehicle traffic can reach 90% of pre-pandemic levels, while 30% on average on public transport.
The 7% hike that comes into effect in April means tolls on major bridges and tunnels will increase by 43 cents for E-ZPass users to $ 6.55.
While that might seem like a small change, it adds up for everyday commuters, like Edgar Alvarado, whose commute takes him over the Verrazzano Bridge.
“Per month, about $ 300 on average, just over $ 300 a month,” Alvarado said. “Just living on Staten Island is expensive. It is also probably the most expensive district to travel to, any small increase makes a big difference,” Alvarado said.
Drivers without E-ZPass will pay $ 10.17, 67 cents more to cross.
A new toll of $ 8.36 will be in place for drivers who have E-ZPass but the tag is failing to connect.
The MTA has kept the discount for Staten Islanders crossing the Verrazano Bridge, but it will drop to $ 2.95.
The resident discount is a huge, huge cost savings. If they had gotten rid of that, I’m pretty sure a lot of people would have left Staten Island, ”Alvarado said.
One benefit for Staten Island drivers that the MTA has eliminated is a reduced fare of $ 1.70 for carpooling rides.
MTA officials said it was little used. Nonetheless, it did help Oleg Gorelik and his family of five when they visited his parents in Brooklyn.
This is crucial. It is very important to have a discount for Staten Island residents, ”Gorelik said. I think the Staten Islanders shouldn’t pay for the bridge at all because we’re trapped on the island and now have to pay it.
The fee increases will bring the MTA $ 62 million this year and $ 116 million next year.
Still, the MTA has a long way to go for financial security. He is asking Congress for an additional $ 8 billion to pass through 2024 without major cuts.
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