Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the suspension of tolls on the Marine Parkway Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge and the Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge to the Rockaways, retroactive to when the bridges reopened after the storm.
The people of the Rockaways suffered tremendously from Hurricane Sandy, and with the loss of A train service, there is no easy way for many of them to get back and forth to the rest of New York, Governor Cuomo said. We are taking action to suspend these tolls to make the recovery easier for both Rockaways residents and the people helping them.
The $3.25 cash toll and $1.80 E-ZPass toll for cars on both bridges will be suspended immediately tonight, MTA Chairman and CEO Joseph J. Lhota said. E-ZPass tolls paid since the bridges reopened will be retroactively credited back to their customers accounts. The suspensions will last through the end of November as recovery efforts continue.
The Marine Parkway Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge closed in advance of Hurricane Sandy at 6:58 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 29, and reopened at 4:45 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 30. The Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge closed in advance of Hurricane Sandy at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 29 and reopened at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 31.
Both bridges are operated by the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority, a unit of the MTA commonly known as MTA Bridges and Tunnels. Under the state Public Authorities Law and the related covenants with holders of TBTA bonds, the MTA is legally required to charge tolls to all users of the bridge with very few exceptions.
Governor Cuomo consulted with Senate Majority Leader Skelos and Speaker Sheldon Silver and they concurred, thus satisfying the MTAs legal requirements.
Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos said, It is totally appropriate that we suspend the tolls on the bridges leading to the Rockaways so that residents and recovery workers have easier access to and from this area that was so heavily devastated by the storm.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said, Removing the tolls on these bridges is a common sense step to help ease the burden of the citizens of the Rockaways in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. We are pleased to work with the Governor, who has demonstrated tremendous leadership throughout this crisis, to help our communities that have been so devastated by this terrible storm.