The following is a press release from the offices of Councilman Vincent Gentile. Earlier this morning, State Senator Marty Golden issued a similar demand.
Today Governor Andrew Cuomo announces a long-awaited deal which will give Staten Island E-ZPass holders a big toll break on the Verrazano Bridge – a deal that has left Councilman Vincent J. Gentile once again demanding, “What about Brooklyn?!”
Councilman Gentile, who represented parts of Staten Island as a New York State Senator from 1997-2002, commended Governor Cuomo for the sweeping discount plan which will provide a significant discount from current toll rates for Staten Islanders but feels it doesn’t go quite far enough.
“I’m all for lowering tolls for hardworking New Yorkers but the fact is this deal is one sided and does not include Brooklyn – perhaps someone forgot that the bridge has two sides!,” Councilman Gentile said. “This is a tale of two boroughs!”
“My council district surrounds the Brooklyn end of the Verrazano Bridge and every day residents travel across that bridge to and from the College of Staten Island or Wagner College, or to see their parents or loved ones in nursing homes or to work or shop at the mall,” Gentile continued. “These residents in the zip-codes surrounding the Verrazano have to pay considerably more than their Staten Island neighbors every time they use this bridge. At $15 a pop, this is completely unjustifiable not to mention a serious burden on the wallet.”
Gentile is once again calling on the Governor to extend the same discount plan for residents on the “other” side of the bridge in southwest Brooklyn.
“For local people who need to cross the Verrazano Bridge on a daily or frequent basis, the same discount on the bridge should apply as the discount given to Staten Islanders. If the Port Authority can work this out for the bridges they operate, so can the MTA!”
Councilman Gentile has offered several times to convene a meeting of state legislators and MTA officials to work out an equitable discount plan for Brooklynites.