11/24/12

Gentile: MTA Toll-Gouging Sandy Relief Workers

In a letter to MTA Bridges and Tunnels President Jim Ferrara, City Council Member Vinnie Gentile demanded that the MTA immediately suspend tolls on the Verrazano Bridge for relief workers, saying volunteers are crucial to the hurricane recovery effort.

Local relief organizations, Gentile said, are struggling to send volunteers and supplies over the bridge from Bay Ridge to Staten Island because of the $13 Brooklyn-side toll.

Paying $13 to cross the bridge -- multiple times a day -- has forced local volunteers to divert help to other neighborhoods accessible toll-free, he said.

Staten Island was one of the city's hardest-hit boroughs, with significant loss of life and property in low-lying areas.

MTA could suspend tolls for volunteers from certain Brooklyn zip codes or making repeat round trips in a given time period, Gentile said, calling on the MTA to show volunteers and other relief workers it understands their needs by giving them a break on tolls.

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