State Sen. Tony Avella, D-Bayside, said he would introduce a bill that would prohibit the installation of tolls on any bridges controlled and operated by the city, including the East River bridges.
The senator said he did not believe the city should collect revenue from city residents through tolls on the Queensborough, Williamsburg, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Third Avenue and Willis Avenue bridges.
“Despite the ever present need for additional revenue, the imposition of tolls on the East River bridges is not an acceptable revenue generating option,” he said. “Adding tolls to any of these bridges would have a devastating effect on working and middle class families and small businesses. Everyone agrees that we need to address traffic congestion problems throughout the city, but the first step has to be improving mass transit.”
Avella said an unfair burden would be placed on Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx and Manhattan residents who would be forced to pay to travel between boroughs.
And he said that constant subway and bus fare hikes have already raised the cost of living for city residents.
“There are other ways we can raise revenue without financially burdening workers who have to commute to work to support their households,” said state Assemblyman David Weprin, D-Fresh Meadows, who has backed Avella’s legislation.