Statement in Support of Mayor Bloomberg's Plan to Toll East River Bridges

October 22, 2002

We strongly support Mayor Bloomberg's proposal to place tolls on the bridges that span the East River.

These so-called "free" bridges already cost New Yorkers plenty. Motorists and city taxpayers pay tens of millions of dollars in congestion, lost productivity, higher shipping costs, frayed nerves and poor health caused by air pollution from heavy volumes of cars and trucks.

Peak-hour tolls on these bridges will reduce traffic congestion, quicken travel for those who have to drive and allow for lower tolls on all bridges and tunnels during off-hours. Modern technology means that tolls can be put in place without toll plazas and attendant traffic back-up.

Most importantly, new tolls will yield funds desperately needed to meet the city's transportation needs. These range from the dollars to maintain city bridges and roads to making transit attractive by holding down subway and bus fares and repairing the transit system.

For more information, contact:

Gene Russianoff, Straphangers at (212) 349-6460 or (917) 813-1022.

John Keahny, Transportation Alternatives at (212) 629-8080.

Jon Orcutt, Tri-State Transportation Campaign at (212) 268-7474.