MTA considering Verrazano toll hike; Cash lanes would be $16

STATEN ISLAND (WABC) -- Drivers who use the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to commute between Brooklyn and Staten Island could soon be facing a painful cash toll that would make it one of the highest in the country.

Right as the span is set to celebrate its 50th birthday, the MTA is considering yet another toll hike. And nobody likes it.

"It always, all the time, every year it seems, it goes up and up," Staten Island resident Javier Nieves said. "I can remember back when it was $7.50."

Under one plan, the cash price would increase from $15 to $16, with the E-ZPass price and the discount for Staten Island residents both going up about 4 percent.

"They said once the bridge is built and paid for, we wouldn't have to pay as much," resident Nice Santisi said. "But they keep raising it. I think it's absurd."

MTA board member Allen Cappelli also lives on Staten Island, and he says the state and city have to come up with a new way to pay for the MTA.

"I think the tolls are too damn high," he said.

Cappelli says it's not fair to make the Verrazano so expensive and then let East River crossings remain free. He wants tolls for everybody.

"People are willing to pay their fair share," he said. "But when they're in a situation when others aren't being asked to do it, then they're just indignant they get hit over the head with these increases."

A fare hike on the Verrazano is far from a done deal, as it still faces at least eight public hearings and a vote by the MTA board in January.
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