Relates to the tolling of bridges controlled or operated by the city of New York.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to the tolling of bridges controlled or operated by the city of New York
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: The purpose of the bill is to prohibit the city of New York from placing tolls on any of the East River bridges.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section 1 of the bill amends Title 19 of the administrative code of the city of New York by adding a new chapter 8 that will state "No tolls or other charges shall be imposed for vehicular or pedestrian traffic for the use of any bridge controlled or operated by the city".
Section 2 of the bill sets forth an immediate effective date.
JUSTIFICATION: The city of New York currently controls or operates what are collectively referred to as the East River Bridges, which include the Willis Avenue, Third Avenue, Ed Koch Queensborough, Williamsburg, Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges.
Despite the financial difficulties facing the city of New York, the imposition of tolls on the East River Bridges is not a revenue generating option that New York city residents should be forced to endure.
Imposition of these tolls would place an unfair burden upon residents from Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Manhattan who would be forced to pay to travel between the Boroughs. Given the tremendous rise in cost of living expenses as a result of years of financial crisis on both a national and local level, as well as ever increasing bus and subway fare hikes, city residents are in no position to face another huge increase in their daily living expenses. In addition, small businesses in the Boroughs outside of Manhattan who are already struggling with shrinking profit margins will not be able to absorb the massive increases in their business expenses as a result of such tolls.
Assuming such tolls would be implemented under a "cashless" /"all-electronic" tolling system similar to what the Metropolitan Transportation Association ("MTA") implemented on the Henry Hudson Bridge, such systems have yet to be proven cost effective. Drivers with EZ-Pass would pay immediately but those without would be billed by the city. It is unclear what the success rate is for collection of tolls from non-EZ-Pass holders and what collection costs are incurred by the MTA in relation to enforcing a "cashless" system. In addition, there are also the privacy concerns raised by many who feel that such systems are an unwarranted invasion of privacy to have their movements tracked by tolling cameras that are interfaced with the Department of Motor Vehicles and whose information would be maintained by the city and could be provided to collection agencies.
Overall, it is the responsibility of leaders of the city to find ways of increasing revenues without continually placing that fiscal burden upon residents and small businesses.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New Bill.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE:, This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6191 IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 8, 2014 ___________Introduced by Sen. AVELLA -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Cities AN ACT to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to the tolling of bridges controlled or operated by the city of New York THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Title 19 of the administrative code of the city of New York is amended by adding a new chapter 8 to read as follows: CHAPTER 8 BRIDGES SECTION 19-801 TOLLS. S 19-801 TOLLS. NO TOLLS OR OTHER CHARGES SHALL BE IMPOSED FOR VEHICU- LAR OR PEDESTRIAN TRAFFIC FOR THE USE OF ANY BRIDGE CONTROLLED OR OPER- ATED BY THE CITY. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD13231-01-3