Two-way tolls could be coming to Verrazano Bridge as booths removed

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Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Two-way tolls could be coming to Verrazano Bridge as booths removed
N.J. Burkett has the latest details.

BAY RIDGE, Brooklyn (WABC) -- Drivers will soon change how they pay the pricy tolls at the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, but it's also possible the amount and one-directional nature of the toll could also change.

The span connecting Brooklyn and Staten Island is the most expensive crossing of its kind anywhere in America, costing $17 or just under $12 with E-ZPass.

For the past 30 years, that toll has been collected on the Staten Island side. But the MTA is considering a plan to cut the toll in half and collect it in each direction, not by building new toll booths but by scrapping the ones that already exist and replacing them with E-ZPass scanners and license plate readers.

The removal of the booths is already planned for this summer, but in a letter to the MTA, Congressman Dan Donovan asked the agency to consider placing a cashless toll plaza on the Brooklyn side, as well.

"With all-electronic tolling coming to the Verrazano, it makes sense to examine the one-way toll system," Donovan wrote. "Proponents of a change say a two-way toll will decrease Staten Island and south Brooklyn traffic and might even allow for a transit project in this district."

Additionally, some say truckers will no longer avoid the Verrazano tolls by driving through Brooklyn. Still, motorists and residents who spoke to Eyewitness News had varied opinions on the idea.