Wednesday, July 23, 2014

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Senate Dems Consider Toll Over East River Bridges

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TWC News: Senate Dems Consider Toll Over East River Bridges
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Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith says his members will consider the Assembly's proposal to put tolls on the East and Harlem River bridges which are currently free.

Earlier this week, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver suggested $2 tolls on the bridges, the same amount for a subway or bus ride.

That's down from the $5 toll recommended by the Ravitch Commission, which issued a report last year on ways to raise money for the cash-strapped MTA.

Smith says the proposal would be considered by his members, but that he wants to make sure a reduced bridge toll wouldn't mean higher transit fares.

Senate Democrats will likely push for more changes before signing off on the tolls.

The MTA says it will move forward with fare hikes and service cuts if Albany does not take action by March 25.

Governor Paterson is pushing the state legislature to act on the Ravitch plan within the next week, before final negotiations on the state budget.

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