In a video released this week, Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R,C,I,Ref) said the $10 to $15 million in anticipated annual revenue from two-way tolling would lead to nothing more than a new Ponzi scheme by the MTA unless the money went to lower the toll for Brooklyn and Staten Island residents. Yesterday, Malliotakis spoke on Fox 5’s Good Day New York about her concerns and also called for the MTA to release the study it conducted at the request of Congressman Dan Donovan so skeptical New Yorkers could see the negatives and positives of two-way tolling for themselves.
Two-way tolling was first introduced at a press conference held by Pat Foye, Chairman and CEO of the MTA, Congressman Jerry Nadler, Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez and Congressman Max Rose. They explained that the MTA recently conducted a study proving two-way tolling would bring $10 to $15 million in additional revenue to make improvements to the bridge, which Malliotakis says should already be funded by the existing Verrazzano Bridge toll revenue of nearly $500 million a year.
“I’m generally supportive of two-way tolling but I would like to see the study made public and I’d like to see the extra revenue it creates to go toward lowering the bridge toll for my constituents. The existing $500 million in toll revenue is already going to fund bridge maintenance and transit. With congestion pricing coming down the pike to fund transit options and infrastructure improvements, a move to take the extra revenue from two-way tolling and claim it is being used for bridge maintenance would be nothing more than a Ponzi scheme,” said Malliotakis.
In 2012, Malliotakis sued the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which at the time was under the leadership of then-Chairman Pat Foye, in order to get the toll impact study for the Staten Island-New Jersey crossings released to the public. At that time, she argued that toll payers funded the study, so the study should be made available to them.