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‘Move NY’ Plan Introduced In State Senate With Lower Queensboro Bridge Toll Proposed

File Photo

File Photo

June 22, 2016 By Jackie Strawbridge

A version of the controversial “Move NY” transportation plan, which would redistribute tolls among the City’s bridges and crossings, was introduced in the State Senate earlier this month with a slightly lower Queensboro Bridge fare than has been previously proposed.

“Move NY” has been a subject of debate since it was formally proposed by a coalition of transportation advocates in February 2015; it was introduced as a bill in the State Assembly by Member Robert Rodriguez of Manhattan this past March.

Rodriguez’s bill would add a toll to East River bridges, including the Queensboro, of $5.54 with E-ZPass or $8 without. These numbers are matched with the tolls at the Queens-Midtown Tunnel and Hugh L. Carey (Brooklyn-Battery) Tunnel. In contrast the Senate legislation, introduced by State Sen. Andrew Lanza of Staten Island, proposes a $5 Queensboro toll with E-ZPass.

The plan also involves discounting other major bridges that are currently tolled, including the Triborough/RFK, by up to 48 percent.

Advocates of the Move NY plan believe that this “toll swap” would be more fair for drivers on the Triborough/RFK and other tolled bridges, who have fewer transportation alternatives. Meanwhile, they charge that it would de-incentivize the Queensboro Bridge, therefore reducing congestion and pollution around Queens Plaza.

The primary promised benefit of the overall plan is that millions of new dollars in revenue would be created, which would then go towards improving New York City’s public transit and transportation infrastructure.

Lanza said that his bill will create $1.31 billion annually in new revenue, down from $1.35 billion promised by the Assembly version.

The Senate is out of session and Lanza said in a press release that he will take the summer to work with Rodriguez to reconcile the differences between their two bills.

Move NY Campaign Director Alex Matthiessen said that another issue to be clarified is what exactly the East River bridge toll reduction will be for non-E-ZPass users.

“I’m pleased that Assemblyman Rodriguez’s bill and my bill are very close and I look forward to working with him in the coming months to marry the two bills and do the work needed to pass the bills in both houses,” Lanza said in a statement.

The Move NY plan has long been contentious in Queens, due largely to the fact that so many neighborhoods have limited access to public transportation.

In western Queens, State Sen. Jose Peralta has voiced his support for the plan and is a co-sponsor on Lanza’s bill; State Sen. Gianaris has not stated a position and is “skeptical,” a spokesperson said in March.

In the Assembly, Member Aravella Simotas has said she is “not sure that this proposal gets us where we want to go.”

Simotas nor her colleague Assembly Member Cathy Nolan immediately responded to request for comment Wednesday.

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29 Comments

Pedro Valdez Rivera Jr.

Realistically, this proposal is not going to pass through anytime soon, given the current nature of the political climate going on in both this borough, this city, and this state.

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Oldschool Sunnysider

It costs a family of five $27.50 to ride the GrubWay into the city.
Do the math.

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I have $$$$$

Good charge $10 each way and raise the trains and buses to $5. If you cant afford it move

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Anonymous

It would be a traffic nightmare, toll plazas would cripple that area beyond comprehension. Also it becomes a safety issue when emergency vehicles can’t move. This will never happen.

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Queens Blvd Activist

I am middle class. My father drives for a living. Queens is still primarily a commuter place with Long Island next to us. This is bullshit. I’ve lived her all my life and now we have to appease the upper classes. $5 doesn’t affect anyone is probably living in one of those hideous glass towers.

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Bulimic Panda

Tolls are immoral. The Bulimic Panda puts an anti reflective film over her license plates to avoid toll booth and red light cameras. I pray for all of you that die in traffic. Amen.

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rikki

ok lets get serious
#1 how many of you drive? probably very few so it won’t affect you at all.
#2 In all the years i lived in sunnyside i would say maybe once or twice a month i would have to drive into Manhattan to pick up and deliver items i bought or sold on CL …..during the day M_F….so $5 wont hurt me
#3 like #2 put tolls on from say 6am to 6pm M-F not on weekends or holidays, just rush hour
#4 have some sort of a unlimited weekday monthly pass for cab uber drivers

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Joel

Yep. Its nonsense that a toll would negatively affect poor people. Poor people are not likely to be driving to work in our area, and even less likely to be driving to the city where they’d have to pay 80-100 dollars a day to park.
-A toll on the Queensboro Bridge does two positive things for residents who live along our part of Queens Blvd.
1) It makes drivers who drive to the city from Long Island and Eastern Queens pay for use.
2) It keeps those same drivers off Van Dam Street, Queens Blvd, Hunters Point Ave, and Greenpoint Ave. Right now, all of those roads have dangerous congestion because LIE drivers look to avoid the Midtown Tunnel toll.
-Really, if we must have a free crossing, make the midtown tunnel free and toll the bridge instead. Ours is the only free crossing without direct or near direct highway access. Much of the LIE to BQE traffic are also toll avoiders.

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George B.

Maybe people in Western Queens with access to Subways and Busses going into Manhattan don’t drive in all the time, but people in Eastern Queens tend to drive in pretty regularly, more often than you would expect.

Also, once there’s a toll in place, it’s naive to think they’ll put limits on what times to charge, or give passes to cab and uber drivers. Hell, that’s probably a good portion of the traffic in and out of western Queens!

In the end, I want someone to explain to me how lowering the toll on the Triborough Bridge helps anyone except people coming in from LI. Also, why shouldn’t the State government allocate money from taxes to the MTA rather than raise it through the people again.

Personally, I don’t want to add an increase of $5 to my taxi cab ride, or Zipcar rental, or borrowing a friend’s car to do my business in Manhattan. It doesn’t correct the problem with traffic long term, and I’m sorry, but the sad idea of using MORE busses to get people into the city is NOT a solution!

The MTA has already made it pretty clear that the 7 line is at capacity and they cannot add more trains to the morning rush hour. So tell me, what kind of MTA improvement will help people in Western Queens if they can’t do anything more to the system.

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Mike

More, fast driving buses is the only solution right now. You driving into midtown is precisely the problem

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Anonymous

LIR Penn station to Jamaica has same fare, even tho it stops in woodside. Make that swipable on a metrocard and people will take the train in rather than the 7

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In my Day...blah, blah, blah...

It’s a total revenue scheme and won’t deter anyone from driving into the city. Also, the city, and always corrupt and “broke” MTA have to up their train service game. I swear these gov’t officials think completely ass backwards about things…they never see the long term and only think about the short term (i.e., what’s gonna get me elected b/c I failed at every other job in my life).

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matt

the queens Plaza development groups must be dropping hefty donations into the politico coffers. for fuck sake electeds…have some balls and stand up for your constituents!

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bernie sanderz

cheaper tolls for the 1 percnters of LIC??? WTF!!!? Make em pay!! Those rat bastards…

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El loco

Congratulations to our Congressman Crowley for joining the sit in in the House of Representatives for gun control. Enough with these stupid articles on new cafes or beauty parlors. Write about something significant.

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johnny

Another stupid stunt that went nowhere, Would suit these clowns better to actually do there jobs and solve the real problems.

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Ken

Crowley and the rest of his Democratic cohorts used their so-called sit-in, as well as the tragedy in Orlando, as a fundraiser by sending out emails requesting donations. They took bathroom breaks, had their food catered and once the cameras left they abandoned their political stunt. They are taking the American people for suckers. It’s about time we had term limits so we can toss these morons who sit around and do nothing on the taxpayer’s dime.

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Anonymous

Tolls on this bridge and the other lower East River bridges would violate the terms of the bonds issued to finance the construction of these bridges. The terms of these bonds are binding in perpetuity.

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Anonymous

Just another tax on the less wealthy to make life easier for the wealthy. Lawmakers create all kinds of PR campaigns to hid the truth. The trains are worse than ever despite decades of rising fares. Tax us all for the air we breath instead. At least that would be equally spread around.

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Ge0ffrey

They want to keep the unwashed masses out of Manhattan. This would be the fulfillment of Bloomberg’s wet dream.

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