Following Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to give Staten Island residents a toll break on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, lawmakers in Westchester and Rockland counties said Monday that locals should also get a discount when the new Tappan Zee Bridge is built over the Hudson River.
Their advocates include Assemblyman Thomas Abinanti of Mount Pleasant and Cris Carey of Rockland, the Journal News reported. Abinanti said that residents of both Westchester and Rockland, the counties which border both sides of the Tappan Zee, should get toll breaks.
“You can’t treat people in one area one way and treat people in another area another way,” Abinanti said. “You have to treat all New Yorkers fairly.”
“Residents of Staten Island are getting a break,” Carey said. “I think the same strategies and factors could be applied for Rockland folks.”
The current cash toll on the Tappan Zee is $5. Drivers pay $3 if they have E-ZPass plus a commuter plan. The state Thruway Authority is expected to significantly raise tolls to pay for the new $3.9 billion bridge by the time it opens in 2018.
State Sen. David Carlucci of Rockland has proposed legislation to give Rockland and Westchester residents a Tappan Zee toll discount. His plan also calls for commuters who pay bridge and highway tolls to receive a $250 state tax credit.
“If we build a state of the art of the bridge but we can’t afford to cross it, then what’s the point?” he asked.