Tolls on the seven bridges and two tunnels of the MTA are scheduled for April 1, with a rise being unanimously approved by the board of the agency on Thursday. Current toll rates will increase an average of 7.08 percent, the MTA said.
For E-ZPass users on six crossings: the Bronx-Whitestone, Triboro, Throgs Necks and Verrazzano bridges, and the Brooklyn-Battery and Queens-Midtown tunnels, tolls would rise from $6.12 to $6.55. Non-E-ZPass drivers will be paying $10.17, up from $9.50 today.
On the Henry Hudson Bridge in Upper Manhattan, tolls would rise by 20 cents for E-ZPass users and 50 cents for anyone else. In Queens, meanwhile, the Cross Bay and Marine Parkway bridges will see tolls spiked from $2.29 for E-ZPass and $4.75 for everyone else to $2.45 and $5.09 respectively, respectively.
For those two bridges, MTA officials decided to maintain a discount for Queens residents, as well as the Staten Island rebate for the Verrazzano Bridge, which will now extend to all borough residents regardless of how many trips they take across the bridge each month.
At the same time, for toll collection, the MTA has established a middle-tier: E-ZPass users whose devices are not properly affixed will be charged a “special rate” between the standard and E-ZPass rates.
Since 2010, the MTA has hiked fares and tolls every two years. But, citing widespread financial distress and low transit ridership, transit officials postponed planned transit fare hikes last month.
MTA Chairman Pat Foye, addressing the board on Thursday, defended the decision to raise tolls further, citing the agency’s ongoing fiscal challenges. He noted that traffic in cars had recovered faster than transit ridership.
“We must continue to take action to protect our extremely fragile budget even with additional federal aid in the pipeline,” Foye said.
“Given the pandemic’s devastating impact on our finances, it’s all the more important that we move forward with consideration of toll increases this year.”