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East River Bridge Tolls Slammed By City, State Officials

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A group of city and state officials has voiced strong disapproval for proposed tolls for the bridges that run over the East River between the outer boroughs and Manhattan, the New York Post reports.

Transportation activist group MoveNY recently proposed a plan created by Sam Schwartz, also known as "Gridlock Sam," that would implement tolls on the Brooklyn, Manhattan, Williamsburg, and Queensboro Bridges, as well as the crossings along 60th Street, including the West Side Highway and FDR Drive. Through this new plan, commuters holding an EZ Pass would pay $5.54 for a one-way trip, while cash commuters would incur a charge of $8. This is expected to raise $1.5 billion in funds for the cash-strapped MTA.

But some elected officials argue that this places an unfair burden on commuters from the outer boroughs who often don't have access to public transportation, and that it will effect local businesses outside of Manhattan. "I cannot think of a better example of actual highway robbery," State Assemblyman David Weprin, who represents parts of Queens, told the Post. The outcry followed the increase in tolls on the George Washington Bridge, which went into effect Sunday, raising the price to $15.

There are several elected officials, however, who do support the MoveNY Plan. Fourteen of the total 19 members of the City Council's Progressive Caucus back the toll plan.
· Officials want to shut down proposed tolls on East River crossings [NYP]
· New Congestion Pricing Proposal Gets City Council Backing [Curbed]
· MoveNY Fair Plan [MoveNY]