Proposed MTA toll increases: Will Staten Island resident discount program on Verrazzano Bridge be impacted?

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- The MTA is planning to raise tolls on the agency’s bridges and tunnels in the coming months, and while we know the Staten Island resident discount program on the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge will remain in place, it’s not entirely clear whether the effective toll rate paid by Staten Islanders will stay the same.

During Monday’s MTA Board Finance Committee meeting, agency officials outlined the proposed fare and toll increases that are expected to take effect by Labor Day, pending board approval.

The MTA outlined two potential scenarios for raising bridge and tunnel tolls, one of which would implement higher increases for those using the crossings without E-ZPass. Both scenarios would increase the MTA’s expected annual toll revenue by 5.5%.

We know the resident discount program will continue to exist, as the borough’s elected officials successfully pushed for an additional $7 million in the new state budget to maintain the program.

When asked whether the proposed toll increases would impact the $2.75 effective toll rate for Staten Island residents, an MTA spokesperson said that the agency had nothing to add at this time.

However, State Sen. Jessica Scarcella-Spanton (D-North Shore/South Brooklyn), who was among the elected officials who advocated for budget funding to maintain the program, told the Staten Island Advance/ that the discounted rate will remain at $2.75.

“I am proud that I was able to secure funding in the budget for Staten Islanders to keep the same toll discount, regardless of whether the MTA proposes raising the tolls,” Scarcella-Spanton said.

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