By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
As the Metropolitan Transit Authority prepared on Wednesday to vote to bridge tolls, three Republican lawmakers from Bay Ridge mounted an 11th hour bid to stop the hikes.
Rep. Michael Grimm, state Sen. Marty Golden, and Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis tried the written equivalent of a football “Hail Mary” pass by writing a letter to MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota, asking that the board vote down the increases.
The three elected officials said they are particularly incensed at the expected increase of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge toll to $15.00.
The MTA board is expected to approve the toll hike NBC News reported. The board voted Wednesday morning to increase bus and subway fares. The increases would take effect in March.
The plan would make the Verrazano Bridge the most expensive bridge in the world, Golden said. The MTA is considering a plan to raise the cash payment $2.00 dollars to $15.00 and the increase would be $1.06 for those with E-Z Pass.
“No time has been better than now for the MTA to show New Yorkers that it does in fact account for the personal financial responsibility of their customers when making such decisions. It is something that New Yorkers are not willing to accept. We hear this in our community, along our commercial avenues and in our homes. We ask you to oppose this plan and look forward to working with you to create a more fiscally responsible approach that will be more acceptable to our constituents," the lawmakers wrote in their letter.
“This proposal will hit the pockets of all New Yorkers who traverse the Verrazano Bridge for the purpose of work, shopping, medical care, family visits, and more. It is just unacceptable that the most expensive bridge in the world, already at $13, has the potential to become more expensive,” the lawmakers wrote.