2008_11_bkbridge.jpgSome more details about rumors that the MTA is considering tolls for the Brooklyn, Manhattan, 59th Street and Williamsburg Bridges. Apparently this proposal will be included in the Ravtich Commission's recommendation for ways for the MTA to raise revenue. Governor Paterson convened the commission after countless warnings from the agency about its dire financial situation.

If the MTA does pass a toll, many drivers will be unhappy. The NY Post has two quotes from "average New Yorkers."

Married father of two Walter Winds, Lower East Side side, "crosses the Williamsburg Bridge to bring wife to and from work." The Post estimates the tolls would cost about $400/month, prompting Winds to say, "That'll make me go back to a life of crime; it's highway robbery. That's too much of a burden. I could see if the money was going to fix roads or put lights up but it's not worth it if it's for the MTA. That's $100 extra a week, where am I going to get that from?"

And Adel Benbrika, who crosses the Brooklyn Bridge 2-4 times a day (the toll could also cost him $400/month) for his job at Atlantic Maintenance, worries, "I'm afraid I'm going to lose my job because of this. I'm trying to support my family, I'm trying to survive."

Still, the Straphangers' Campaign's Gene Russianoff said, "Desperate times require desperate measures. In the 25 years I've been following their finances, this is the worst situation they've ever been in."

Photograph of the Brooklyn Bridge by *reesie on Flickr