Friday, December 19, 2014

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MTA Once More Charges Drivers, Including Volunteers, To Cross Rockaways Bridges

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TWC News: MTA Once More Charges Drivers, Including Volunteers, To Cross Rockaways Bridges
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Tolls are once again in effect on the Rockaway bridges, and residents are not happy about it.

Tolls were suspended on the Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Bridge and the Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge after Sandy, but went back into effect just after midnight Friday.

The cash toll on both bridges is $3.25. E-ZPass users pay $1.80.

Some Rockaway residents said with recovery efforts still going on, the tolls are an unfair burden.

"I feel that it's absolutely a disgrace that the governor is allowing this to happen, due to what our neighborhood has gone through and these small close-knit communities have been through," said one resident.

"All the people that are coming from the mainland to help us clean are going to be charged $3.25 every time they come over the bridge," said another.

"People are paying to come here and volunteer? It's not a good thing," said a third.

Some workers at the FEMA Disaster Relief Center on Beach Channel Drive also questioned the need for the tolls.

"We're still within the confines of Queens. You have to pay $3.25 to go from one part to another to help your fellow neighbors? It's unfair," said Louis Selamaj, who works as a security guard in the FEMA center.

Officials at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority told NY1 they are required by their bond covenants to charge tolls for the bridges. They said they were able to suspend during November only because the state agreed to cover the lost revenue.

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