Last week, WCBS 2 first mentioned that the MTA might consider adding tolls to the free East River bridges--the Brooklyn, Manhattan, Williamsburg and 59th Street--as a way to raise much-needed revenue. Now, Governor Paterson confirmed to the news station, "I think that very accurately we may have to look at tolls on the bridges right in the city... The MTA itself which has a deficit, a debt, which is higher than 46 states, now has an $11-14 billion deficit, so I'm not surprised that they're suggesting drastic remedies." Projected revenue, if the bridges were to be tolled, could be $1 billion...that is, if people, who are freaked out by the prospect, keep driving. And the MTA might also have to sock it to subway and bus riders, by raising the base fare (this week's speculation: up to $3 to close the budget gap!).
Gov. Paterson: Tolls for East River Bridges a Consideration
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"It puts more of a burden on New York — puts more of a burden on 49 other states."
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