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MTA Toll Increase An Added Burden For Sandy Weary

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TWC News: MTA Toll Increase An Added Burden For Sandy Weary
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In addition to the extra quarter tacked on to bus and subway rides, the MTA fare hike is not receiving a warm welcome form commuters and merchants still struggling to recover from Hurricane Sandy. NY1's Michael Herzenberg filed the following report.

A water fountain adds to the picturesque restaurant scene, but Chinar on Staten Island is struggling to draw customers back after flood waters from Hurricane Sandy shut it down.

"Three months of business quite of damage," said Herman Herskovich, the restaurant's co-owner.

Now the Staten Island owners worry the fare hike at the nearby Verrazano Narrows Bridge will prevent people from making the trip.

"It's not gonna help that's for sure. People are coming from Brooklyn people are coming from New Jersey I'm sure," Herskovich said.

Staten Island residents protested the increase when it was proposed. Despite that the MTA board approved the $2 cash increase to $15 round-trip and $10.66 with an EZ-Pass.

The Queens-Midtown tunnel also went up a dollar for cash to $7.50 and up about 50 cents to $5.33 for the EZ-Pass.

The same increases hit the Hugh L Carey Brooklyn Battery Tunnel and the Bronx-Whitestone, Throgs Neck, and RFK bridges.

"Any extra money you have to pay is no fun," said one commuter.

"I use this tunnel almost two, three times a day so it's going to be higher for me maybe hundred dollars more in a month," said another commuter.

"They gotta do what they gotta do to be able to take money, they gotta hike us," said a third commuter.

The MTA says it needs the money and it held eight public hearings last year on the increases. That includes subway and bus rides up a quarter to $2.50 per trip or $8 to $112 per 30 day unlimited MetroCard.

The owners of Chinar on the Island say it's not the right time for a fare hike.

"There's no consideration of the circumstances. The economy's not that good anyway and the impact of Sandy and now this on top of everything else," Herskovich noted.

Getting a new MetroCard will also cost riders a dollar more.

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