Never fear, Staten Island — your votes are still important. New York’s elected representatives in Washington are muscling through H.R. 3960, the Residential and Commuter Toll Fairness Act of 2009, which finds that some citizens are “forced to endure significant or undue toll burdens,” and thereby authorizes “Residential or Commuter Toll, User Fee or Fare Discount Programs,” or reauthorizes such as exist.
That Staten Island Congressman Michael McMahon introduced the bill should be the tip-off that Staten Islanders who use the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge will be among those affected… Now Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand have announced themselves on board. “I will fight to ensure [Staten Islanders] continue to receive these essential residential discount rates that protect them from obscene tolls,” says Schumer. Natives currently pay $3.65 less than non-natives on the bridge.
Staten Island Advance commenters are less than grateful, as they recall the recent toll hike. One suggests the legislators’ assurances are “A BUNCH OF BULL!!!” Another asks, “Anyone ever try buying the resident discount tokens for the Verrazano? The toll takers give you the biggest sour puss look like they can’t be bothered and take there sweet time getting them out of storage.” Well, at least Chuck, Kirsten et alia will be able to put on their mailers that they “fought for Staten Island commuters,” which counts even if no one remembers how.