A plan to split the one-way toll on the Verrazzano Bridge was included in the $1.4 trillion government-wide spending package that the House of Representatives passed Tuesday.
The spending bill, which the Senate and President Donald Trump are expected to approve this week, includes a provision for charging drivers $9.50 in both directions.
"Thanks to the overwhelmingly bipartisan support from every level of government, outdated federal laws will no longer create traffic on the expressway and let New Jersey truckers skip out on paying the same tolls we pay every damn day," Democratic Rep. Max Rose, whose district covers Staten Island and part of Brooklyn, said in a statement.
Currently, the $19 toll, the most expensive in the United States, applies only to drivers entering Staten Island through Brooklyn.
Local lawmakers, including Rose, have pushed for split tolling for months, saying many drivers avoid the toll altogether by entering Staten Island through New Jersey before crossing into Brooklyn.
Local members of Congress say all discounts for Staten Island residents will remain in place.
Currently, E-ZPass commuters pay over $12 for the bridge in one shot. For Staten Island residents with an E-ZPass and who make three or more trips a month the toll is $6.88 right now.
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Originally, tolls were collected for drivers heading in both directions on the Verrazzano. That changed in the 1980s, when then-Rep. Guy Molinari spearheaded an effort to change the toll to be a one-way toll. The one-way toll went into effect in 1986.
Officials had cited the need for one-way tolling to cut down on traffic backups from toll gantries, but the bridge implemented cashless tolling in 2017.
The split toll is estimated to bring the MTA between $10 and $15 million in additional revenue from drivers who had been using the loophole, according to Rose.
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