Office of Borough President James P. Molinaro
Staten Island, New York
Borough President Molinaro to MTA: charge extra $1 to non EZ-pass customers
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – Borough President James P. Molinaro has asked Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman & CEO Jay H. Walder and Staten Island representative Allen P. Cappelli to consider at their next full board meeting his proposal to charge non E-ZPass customers an extra $1 to cross MTA facilities.
In a letter to MTA Board Member Cappelli, Molinaro wrote, “E-ZPass users shouldn’t be inconvenienced by having to wait on line behind the cash-payers, not to mention all the pollution that’s caused by the idling vehicles on the toll plaza.”
At the last MTA hearing in March, Molinaro cited a study conducted by his office that found that by charging $1 more to non E-ZPass customers, the MTA could raise $77 million a year. By charging the tourists and people passing through the region an extra dollar, in just two days the MTA could have raised enough money to save the Island’s S60 or the X20 or even the X18 bus lines.
In his letter to Cappelli, Molinaro wrote, “I am now asking you, as Staten Island’s MTA representative, to present to the full board at your next meeting my proposal of charging non E-ZPass customers an extra $1 at all MTA toll facilities where E-ZPass is accepted.”
Molinaro continued, “Aside from the $77 million in additional annual revenue that would be raised by charging an extra dollar to non E-ZPass customers, consider the additional benefits:
* The MTA would not be charging an over-taxed population, nor would they be punishing Island residents and businesses.
* If more people switch to E-ZPass after the $1 toll increase is enacted, traffic flow would improve, decreasing the lines at the cash lanes and even improving air quality as crossing efficiencies increase.
“For Staten Islanders, it’s a win-win,” Molinaro concluded. “For the MTA, it’s a way of raising revenue without milking yet again their favorite cash cow – my Borough. I ask the MTA to think ‘out of the box’ and consider new and innovative ideas such as this.”
July 27, 2010