Legislators decry assault on toll payers, economy
Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R,C,I-Brooklyn, Staten Island) and Senator Martin Golden (R,C,I-Brooklyn) today hosted a press conference at the Brooklyn entrance of the Verrazano Bridge to voice their opposition to the MTA’s proposed toll hikes on local bridges and tunnels. In light of data Assemblywoman Malliotakis has obtained from the Port
Authority regarding the devastating impact of their toll hikes on businesses in the New York Container Terminal (NYCT), the legislators decried the damaging effect such a measure would have on the city’s economy.
“The MTA has treated our community as a piggy bank at the expense of our economy for years, and its toll hike plan for bridges and tunnels is yet another example of its indifference to local commuters and job creators,” said Malliotakis. “If you want to know what will happen as a result of further MTA toll hikes, look no further than the NYCT, where businesses have been crippled by the Port Authority’s cash-grabs. By raising bridge and tunnel tolls, the MTA is exporting jobs to neighboring states and unfairly burdening local toll payers. We will not stand idly by as another mismanaged transportation agency attempts to balance its budget on the backs of local businesses and commuters.”
Senator Marty Golden stated, "Our community relies on the surrounding bridges not only for transportation, but as cornerstones of commerce and job creation. Raising tolls on these structures is bad for businesses, bad for commuters and bad for our economy. In these difficult
economic times, the Metropolitan Transit Authority is wrongfully again looking to dig deeper into the pockets of motorists who travel across the five boroughs of our City. Raising tolls on these structures is bad for businesses, bad for commuters and bad for our economy."
Members of local industry and commerce that rely on local bridges and tunnels for their economic viability joined the legislators in lamenting the MTA’s plan, also citing the disastrous impact that Port Authority toll hikes have had on the economy.
“Our industry is truly drowning underneath the toll hikes and cost increases that continue piling up as irresponsible organizations like the MTA make one job-killing decision after another,” said Louis Pernice, President of Local 1814 International Longshoremen’s Association. “While the economy continues to stagnate, the MTA and Port Authority are playing Russian roulette with the good-paying jobs that are dwindling by the day in our community. The shipping industry simply cannot continue to do business in New York’s ports if these tolls remain on a perpetual escalator.”
“Inbound trucks to New York’s terminals pay an astounding 544% more in tolls than trucks accessing New Jersey’s terminals. That increases the cost of everything transported into New York, with absolutely no justification or benefit to New Yorkers,” said Kendra Adams, President of the New York State Motor Truck Association. The New York State Motor Truck Association (NYSMTA) is a non-profit trade association representing the interests of the trucking industry, consisting of 600 member companies.