Comptroller William Thompson joined a Mar. 1 rally with state and city elected officials to oppose tolls on the East and Harlem River bridges. The tolls are just one of several cost saving and revenue generating proposals designed to save the Metropolitan Transportation Authority that were developed by the Ravitch Commission, a group led by former MTA chair Richard Ravitch.
“Harlem and East River tolls would burden many hardworking people who live in boroughs other than Manhattan and would drastically hurt small businesses,” Thompson said prepared remarks.
The proposed $2 tolls, which could generate $450 million for the struggling MTA, would mainly impact commuters who drive into Manhattan.
Thompson’s alternative plan would add a weight-based registration fee on private and commercial vehicles, which he said would generate a billion dollars for the MTA.
The tolls are intended to help close the MTA’s $1.2 billion budget gap. Without implementation of these proposals and additional aid from Albany, the MTA would have to cut service and raise fares to close the budget, as required by law. Key Albany leaders including Gov. David Paterson and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver have said they support the tolls.
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