By on June 1, 2015

Holland Tunnel Toll Booth

There’s not a doubt in my mind that if Grosse Pointe, Michigan, which abuts the city limits of Detroit, put up toll booths on Jefferson Ave. charging drivers money to enter the city, there’d be accusations of discriminating against the less affluent, mostly black residents of the city of Detroit. New York City, though, gets away with charging exorbitant tolls to enter Manhattan and some of the boroughs. If you are driving a privately owned automobile or truck, or if you’re a passenger on a privately owned bus or taxicab, you will be paying or subsidizing a toll if you want to enter the ‘center of the universe’.

Of course, government owned transportation services are exempt from such tolls, but if you’re going travel into the city on your own schedule, you will have to pay for what, I guess, is a privilege.

Now I don’t have a problem with the concept of paying a toll to traverse a bridge or tunnel. Bridges and tunnels need continuous maintenance and that work has to be funded.

My home state in Michigan has one public toll road (there are some privately owned bridges here and there as well), the Mackinaw Bridge. Big Mac, as they call it here, has competed with NYC’s Verrazano Narrows Bridge that connects Staten Island to the southern tip of Long Island – a.k.a. Brooklyn – for the title of the longest suspension bridge in the world. Both structures are five mile long engineering masterpieces built in very difficult locations. Both bridges, as mentioned, need to be constantly maintained. The next coat of paint starts going on almost as soon as the last coat is finished being applied. Roadbeds must be repaved. Fatigued metal parts must be replaced. Admittedly, the number of vehicles that cross the Verrazano Bridge are orders of magnitude greater than for the link between Michigan’s two peninsulas, so some maintenance, like fixing the pavement, will undoubtedly be more expensive for the New York bridge. The Verrazano structure has two road levels, so pavement costs are doubled, but outside of that, both bridges probably require about the same level of maintenance. Pavement costs are only a fraction of the operational costs of a bridge.

It costs $4 to cross the Mackinaw Bridge in a car or light truck. Larger trucks pay $5 per axle. The Port Authority charges $16 round trip for the Verrazano Bridge (most of the other bridges and tunnels seem to have a $14 round trip toll). While the Michigan bridge charges in both directions, the NY bridge only charges people traveling to Staten Island, as the relevant authorities apparently assume most drivers will come back to Brooklyn the way they came. Most of the tolls in the NYC area, at least for crossing water, are round trip. Of course, if your route, as mine did on the first day of the New York International Auto Show preview, takes you into Manhattan and then to Staten Island, you’ll be paying tolls in both directions. The Lincoln and Holland tunnels’ tolls are $14 round trip.

Since just about everything but kosher food is more expensive in NYC, the costs of operating the Verrazano Bridge are probably greater than for the Mackinaw Bridge, but I can’t see them being double. The only reason that I can see tolls being so expensive in the NYC area is that New York and New Jersey governments use them as a source of general revenue. With so many drivers having no choice but to take bridges and tunnels to get to work, that’s quite a considerable revenue stream.

Local New Yorkers to whom I’ve raised the issue seem to believe the tolls are used to subsidize the subways here. As far as I can determine, though, the subway system is operated by the Metropolitan Transit Authority and the Verrazano is operated by the Tri-Borough Tunnel and Bridge Authority, a different agency.

If any of our readers are familiar with how the various government agencies in the NYC area disburse their toll revenues, please educate us in the comments. From the perspective of this Michigan resident, however, it looks like the tolls are set based not on the budgetary needs of the bridges and tunnels, but rather on a philosophy of extracting the maximum amount of revenue that can be used to pay for all sorts of things not necessarily helping travelers reach their destinations.

[Photo credit: Jet Lowe, via Wikimedia Commons]

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103 Comments on “Highway Robbery – Why Are NYC Tolls So Expensive?...”


  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Because: New York.

    • 0 avatar

      +$15

    • 0 avatar
      jjster6

      You’re forgetting another big cost of the Mackinac Bridge; still paying for it. I believe the bonds to finance the bridge are still being paid off.

      Likely the same for many of them in NYC where the real estate, even back when they were built, cost a lot more.

      • 0 avatar
        KevinC

        Yeah, sure. Like when they were still paying off the Golden Gate bridge in SF. There was a law passed when the bridge was built that once it was paid for, the toll had to go away. Well, at least until they rescinded the law. Now the bridge toll pays for all kinds of BS. I remember when I was a kid and the fare jumped to $1, outraging many. People were pulling up and handing 100 pennies to the toll-taker, to intentionally hold up the line, in protest. That was quickly outlawed. Now, a few decades later, what’s it up to, $6? I guess when a crappy studio apartment runs $3k, it doesn’t seem so bad.

    • 0 avatar
      twotone

      I actually think it’s too cheap. Why would anyone want to drive in NYC?

      The private car tolls should be higher and money used to subsidize public transportation. I love cars, but when I lived in London, Amsterdam, Moscow and Beijing I appreciated the efficient public transport systems.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I thought NYC already had one of the better public transit systems in the nation?

        • 0 avatar
          KixStart

          “I thought NYC already had one of the better public transit systems in the nation?”

          That’s damning with faint praise.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          How many major cities in the US have public transit which is more than just bus?

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            F the bus

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I know! It’s all we have here, and I don’t even consider it “public transit,” as few people use it and it’s not on time and inefficient.

            Oh but we are spending $148M on a trolley/streetcar thing which will run from a crap part of town full of college students, through downtown (largely empty except workers), and over east to the casino. It’ll surely get used lots.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            That trolley has two possible futures; one is Tucson and the other is Memphis.

            Tucson’s trolley has revitalized the areas it runs along. When I was there is March, the downtown looked so much better than even two years ago and other areas along the trolley were under development.

            Memphis’ trolleys burned to the ground and the area along the trolley routes still looks blighted. There are pockets of nice stuff, but it’s limited to a very small area and is very patchy. The trolleys are supposed to come back this year, but I don’t know how much that will help.

            If the Cincy trolley is actually connecting neighborhoods together, it may have a chance. We have a similar light rail project in Detroit that will be nothing but a way to shuttle people around to big events. If it doesn’t eventually get to the suburbs, it will be a failure.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I think it’ll be a Memphis. We don’t have dry and doable Tucson weather, and people here do NOT LIKE public transit. You have a car, and there’s plenty of parking wherever, it’s not that congested.

            And the hipster students at Clifton (start of line) aren’t interested in going to the casino, because they’re poor.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Yeah, Tucson’s is done really well. Most are not.

            It helps that U of A is huge and people go to Tucson on vacation. Tourism $$$!

      • 0 avatar
        wumpus

        A parking space is roughly 20×10 feet, or 200ft (while moving expect to use just under twice this. Not enough to stop in, but someone will grab any area just over one parking space).

        Land goes for ~$1,000 sq/ft in NYC.

        In this thread: the B&B will whine incensantly about not being subsidized enough and forced to pay a whopping $16 to use >$200,000 land.

      • 0 avatar
        VolandoBajo

        I lived in NYC (mostly resided in the BK, mostly worked on the city, occasionally the Island). I now live about an hour and a half away.

        If it cost less than ten or fifteen dollars R/T to go there, including the turnpike, I would probably go there several times a year, and spend several times the tolls, each time.

        But with the ding they put in your wallet each and every time, I now go rarely, sometimes not for a year or more. And as I get to where I want to see more and more of NYC that is either off the beaten path, or scattered all over town, usually in a day trip, my willingness to pay a few bucks for 24 hour parking at a spot I will not ruin by naming, and then crossing in on the PATH tube, wanes as an OK option.

        But I’m sure my few hundred to a thousand or two dollars a year in spending pales in comparison to the thousands of cars that pay double digit figures to go in and out of the city, night and day, all year round, so New York an hour and half away becomes in some ways as inaccessible to me and to my family, as a foreign city.

        But NYC is not alone. I now live across the river from Philly. When I moved here less than two decades ago, tolls were $3 one way. Soon they went to $4, and now $5, much of it on the strength of the interstate agency’s attempts to allegedly strenthen the area’s economy, but such manuevers as building a major league soccer stadium (what in the H does that even MEAN?) out in the suburbs on the other side of town.

        Which, if annual usage and attendance figures are to be believed, will provide an excuse to raise fares again before too long, instead of being a project that finally gets on an even footing on a current basis, once we have all paid to help build Philly one more chance to talk about how it is just a matter of time before they win a major league championsip, since they are now officially (past-)due, and just need “one or two more pieces” to return to a glory that few are still alive to be able to remember.

        And I believe the NJ Turnpike was also supposed to go toll-free once it was paid for, again until the law was repealed by politicians anxious to fill pork barrels to aid re-election. As was also, I believe, the Delaware Memorial Bridge.

        And probably almost every toll project that was ever done, if it has already been paid off. For example, I believe I read the same thing is going on in the western DC suburbs with tolls. After all, they say, we could do so many more good things for the taxpayers, if we could just get more of their money to spend. And the more ways we can get it, the faster we can help them. “I’m from Washington, and I’m here to help you.” Our famous inside joke line when I was a Beltway bandit.

        A more truthful one was “Congress is in session. Hide your wallet.”

        (Be sure to vote Hillary-iously in 2016…for a chicken in every pot, and two cars in every garage. And more taxes for the filthy rich making a middle class income, in order to help the “ordinary man and woman”. Hell, she and most of her cohorts on both sides of the aisle wouldn’t know an ordinary person if they bumped into them during a campaign photo op on a Metro train. Sorry, must be time for meds again…)

    • 0 avatar

      I have a $120 per month ez pass bill. Let me opine.

      We have a lot of bridges. They come with politically unreachable “Authorities”. The purpose of these Authorities was to issue Bonds to pay for the Bridges outside City or State Governments; sadly, they are perpetual and have gone beyond simply building, borrowing and paying off. For example, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. They get the Tunnels under the river, and the George Washington Bridge. They also build things like the World Trade Center, and a bunch of buildings in Newark. The Board is appointed by the Governors of NY and NJ. It is a plum place to put your friends, or get a civil service job. Why pay for urban renewal with the tolls ? Shut up, you have no say here. There is artwork in the executive offices, too. Moves have been made to Audit Port Authority….to laughter.

      Likewise, there is the TBTA, the Triboro Bridge and Tunnel Authority. They too are an unreachable entity. I think most of the TBTA money goes to subsidize NYC mass transit, an unfillable hole if there ever was one.

      I drive on roads Robert Moses built for my grandfather, with his 1959 Imperial. Chronic choke points aren’t fixed.

      The roads aren’t notably improved, expanded, widened, brought into the 21st century, or even paved to a first world standard.

      After eating a $600 wheel bill for a NYC pothole, I now only take my SUV into NYC, because it can survive the “off roading” pavement surfaces.

      The only innovation they ever tried was congesting pricing, which was just tolling brought to a higher standard.

      You can’t compare this nightmare to anyplace else inside or outside the US. I’ve driven in other nations, and know you do not have to accept the potholed road surfaces, or 1935 parkway ramps. It snows in Germany, but still the roads are smooth. Forget the autobahn…drive from one side of Berlin to the other, and be amazed at the lack of suspension abuse.

      It is frustrating knowing that most of my toll money is spent (whizzed away) on other things, like fixing up Newark, NJ or artwork on the PA-NY-NJ walls, and that these entities are politically unreachable and totally non responsive to the public.

      Think of it as the biggest slush fund ever…to the point where bills have been passed in the state legislatures to force an Audit but the Governors veto them.

      • 0 avatar
        ihatetrees

        + $1000.

        “The roads aren’t notably improved, expanded, widened, brought into the 21st century, or even paved to a first world standard.”

        Yes, road tolls in NY are a Cosa Nostra grade slushfund.

        Disfunction is compounded with NY road work rules that make fixes 50% more expensive than elsewhere.
        Also, (sicko) progressive inner circles will whisper that MINIMAL road repair and improvement is a GOOD thing – since it discourages driving (an innately evil activity).

        Check out a recent Buffalo accident on the Robert Moses built (and never significantly improved) route 198:

        http://www.wkbw.com/news/car-leaves-rt-198-strikes-pedestrians-inside-delaware-park

      • 0 avatar
        VolandoBajo

        +1 @Speedlaw a perfect description of the shell game. In the Philadelphia-South Jersey area it is the DRPA, the Delaware River Port Authority. A thirty plus year old commuter rail solution with about a dozen and a half stations…most of them still do not have handicap access. But Philadelphians can now be proud that they aren’t winning a world championship in a fifth “major league” sport: soccer, or football as it is called in the rest of the English-speaking world.

        In football our new whiz kid coach trades away star players because he doesn’t like players who think they are special athletes just because they are. In baseball, we have a GM who has held on to, and over-committed to, aging former champions, while having almost zero in the minor league pipeline. In hockey, we are always the bridesmaid and never the bride, for decades now. And in basketball, we have new management that is building for the future by deliberately shedding up and coming players like Michael Carter-Williams, a rookie of the year type, in order to try to have better chances to get better players in the future. Though I don’t know how anyone comes into the NBA any better than a rookie of the year or contender for the same.

        (Meanwhile, the NBA is full of former Philly players who are now playing better, and often starring, or at least making major contributions, to other, usually better, teams. Though almost all of the other teams are better, so that isn’t saying much. Andrew Iguodala, Michael Carter-Williams, Matt Barnes, Thaddeus Young, Evan Turner, Lou Williams, Kyle Korver, Marrasse Speights, and probably some others, still in their prime, still putting up good numbers. Maybe not superstars, but not the kind of hyped newbie question marks the Sixers are now.)

        And now we are paying through the nose for a chance to build a major league (???!!!) soccer team, for a fifth chance at world glory. Or was that the Arena league football team, which actually did more or less OK? But being forced to pay for a soccer team and soccer stadium? You know somebody is getting rich off this, but it isn’t the taxpayers.

        Thanks for the good reveal of the way the game is played…politicians fight back, governors shield the big shots. And often get paid off in various ways for doing so.

        Kaiser Wilhelm once said, during the process of drafting a German constituion, no one who likes sausages or the law, should watch either one being made.

  • avatar

    NYC is part of “Long Island”.

    When you enter NYC, you’re basically trapped.
    They can charge you whatever they want!
    Heavy traffic EVERYWHERE and no way off Long Island beyond an expensive ferry (which I’ve never used).

    To get from any part of Long Island to anywhere in Connecticut, NJ or anywhere else, you MUST either go through Manhattan or the Bronx. That means that you must add a ridiculous amount of time to your travel.

    If I was in control, I’d have a bridge or tunnel built from Montaulk Point – or another edge of LI to Connecticut to give people an option of exit.

    The Verrazano Bridge sucks because the Belt Parkway and BQE is pretty much the only way to get to Staten Island/NJ – if you don’t want to have to drive all the way up the Bronx (Cross Island Parkway) and cross over (takes over 1 hour).

    Ironically, the wealthy people living in Long Island were the hardest hit when Hurricane Sandy happened, because there was virtually no other way to get fuel out to Long Island beyond boat.

    If they listen to me and spend money building a bridge instead of building bridges in countries we are blowing up – so that they can steal money through their job contracts – we could increase efficiency considerably.

    • 0 avatar
      jpolicke

      And the northern end of I 135 still ends in a pile of dirt, because although it was intended to be the beginning of a cross-LI Sound bridge, the tony residents of Jericho colluded with the MTA/TBTA in making sure it was never started.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        Thank God for that. That bridge would have crossed way too close to some very expensive real estate – way more costly than Jericho. It would have trashed the North Shore.

    • 0 avatar
      quasimondo

      I’ve taken that ferry on a whim once, it would make for a pretty decent day trip to the other point of Long Island that nobody ever talks about.

    • 0 avatar
      kefkafloyd

      Long Island is a separate trap from Manhattan.

      “If I was in control, I’d have a bridge or tunnel built from Montaulk Point – or another edge of LI to Connecticut to give people an option of exit.”

      There were three serious planned Long Island bridges that were never built, one more realistic than the others. The first was the Oyster Bay-Rye Bridge, which was promoted by Robert Moses and was killed because of his chicanery around the end of his term. Moses went, and so did his last big bridge. This was also around the time of highly publicized freeway revolts and new environmental regulations which meant Moses could not simply pave wherever he wanted. For some reading fun time, http://www.nycroads.com/crossings/oysterbay-rye/

      The second was the New Haven-Shoreham crossing, which would have been a causeway from New Haven, CT to Shoreham, NY. Aside from being super expensive and kind of impractical, people living in the area killed it. Further reading: http://www.nycroads.com/crossings/shoreham-newhaven/

      The last would be a causeway from Orient, NY to Rhode Island via a series of islands, and that’s what you’re thinking of. Again, largely impractical and hugely expensive. This would be the least useful sound crossing.

      The fights of the New Haven and Rhode Island crossings are bitter on both sides – residents of those areas see it as a Long Island specific project and do not want to pay for it.

      There are currently two ferries on LI, the Port Jefferson/Bridgeport ferry, and the Montauk/New London ferry. The former is for western LI, while the latter is easterly. I’ve taken the Port Jeff ferry before; on some weekends it is perhaps the only way to head back to Boston way without sitting in traffic for the Throgs Neck Bridge for hours.

  • avatar
    cammark

    I’m curious how the cost of living differs between the two areas in question. Assuming NYC area has the higher cost, does the percent increase in average toll correlate with some increase in labor cost for the bridge workers applying paint in perpetuity?

  • avatar
    genuineleather

    How else are they going to pay for the world’s most expensive office building, a $4 billion transit station, and fat paychecks for political appointees?

    • 0 avatar
      Rod Panhard

      The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey runs the bridges, tunnels, three airports, shipping ports and World Trade Center. They have their own police force, plus whatever other kinds of workers they need to make all this stuff operate.

      Here’s where it gets expensive. Pensions. Here’s why it gets extra expensive. Pension payouts are determined by the average of the last three years of a worker’s salary, be it hourly or exempt.

      If hourly, it’s expected that the soon-to-be leaving employee use his or her seniority to collect all the overtime available to them. So it’s not uncommon for an hourly employee who normally might make $75,000 per year to gross $105-$115k per year for the last three years. And that’s what his or her pension is based on.

      Add in a number of political appointees from both sides of the Hudson who get jobs there after having worked at other state or local agencies and acquired pensions as well. Plus, party hacks and supporters who have helped out for decades. There’s plenty of patronage spots.

      I reside in New Jersey and have heard plenty of stories from neighbors, and even a guy in my motorcycle club who had acquired a consulting position in the Port Authority. He really couldn’t believe how inefficient the place was, and the amount of slacking-off he’d seen.

      I really don’t know how this place (NYC metro) sustains itself, until every year, I have to bend over a little farther and think of yet another way to grab my ankles. The high taxes are killing the place, very slowly.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        Your pension calcs are wrong. NYC pensions are based on the best of three years, with two additional joining years that, if less than the average of the other three, limit the payout. And any OT that exceeds the prior high year is capped at 20% as far as pension calculations are concerned. This is to reduce the possibility of excessive OT being used to pad the pension. One would have to have a senior staff member willing to pad OT for an employee for a solid five years to enable your example to happen. Does it? Probably, but not nearly to the extent we all think.

        The MTA does collect some of the toll revenue for funding the subway and for funding the Long Island RR and the Metro-North RR.

        NYC owned vehicles do in fact pay a toll to the TBTA, though at a reduced rate.

  • avatar
    jkk6

    Joissy ppl are so susceptible, who even thinks about paying for Ezpass bills of $300+. Shees what’s the world coming to? Michelle Obama would smack Barack in the back of the head if she found out he’s been paying for that than buying milk and eggs for the family to feed.

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      The question is “does a job in the city pay enough to cover the $300/month and longer commute?” I would be surprised if it didn’t, at least for those who drive rather than take public transit.

      • 0 avatar
        jkk6

        Just a little sarcasm since the majority of commuters are from New Jersey.

        Obviously whoever takes their car into the city is able to pay $1000 monthly parking fees. Parking fees costing more than my rent reminds me to work harder. Live on.

  • avatar
    shaker

    I would think that the price is meant to discourage people from driving into the city – and raises revenue as a side benefit.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      MTA BRIDGES AND TUNNELS STATEN ISLAND RESIDENTS:

      As the result of an MTA Rebate Program, effective April 1, 2015, residents are charged $5.50 (versus the $16.00 cash rate)

      In other words, “don’t come here if you from America – we’re NYC”. Total discrimination. On this note I would build a Marginot Line and isolate NYC from rest of America. They are different and deserve to stay where they are.

      • 0 avatar
        VolandoBajo

        Kurt Russell, as Snake Pliskind. “Escape From New York”.

        Makes a good Saturday night stay at home double bill with the other one, about the gangs of New York, not the Scorsese one by that name (though it’s also good), but the one with the various gangs, and one gang trying to fight its way from the north end of the Bronx to the south end of Brooklyn, or something like that.

        Widely decried by critics as yet another modern violent Hollywood exploitation of violence type of movie. Then the director revealed that it was nothing more than a modern updating of the Iliad and the Odyssey.

        Both it and Escape From NY are great fictional depiction of a NYC isolated from the rest of America. And in many ways, more realistic at the core than either of the two Taking of Pelham 1-2-3 movies, especially the Blake one.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    I’d chalk it up to having one of the most insane tax systems in developed world. Everywhere else would just charge a flat federal VAT and/or possibly a regional VAT.

    The US has to be different—because freedom—and New York has an utterly psychotic level of state, county, city and use taxes that have to, on balance, cost more to administer all while being less effective than a simple VAT would.

    I’m bitter about this because I had to design an order-entry system for an ERP and had absolutely no idea how insane the US retail tax system was until someone dumped the tax tables for New York on me. It boggles the mind, but not so much as the response you get when you ask Americans about it: they invariably say “Well, it wouldn’t be fair to charge everyone the same tax rate”, never mind how much of a clusterf*ck the current situation is. I’d like to blame New York, but they’re hardly the only state that does this.

    I’m reminded of the American aversion to single-payer health care that led to the (better than the prior state of affairs, but only just) byzantine mess that is the ACA.

  • avatar
    CAMeyer

    The Verrazano Bridge, which connects Staten Island and Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, which connects Brooklyn and Manhattan, and various other bridges and tunnels that connect the five boroughs of NYC are managed by an affiliate of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The MTA, as the name suggests, is charged with managing transportation in the NYC metro area, particularly mass transportation. The tolls are so high because they subsidize mass the subways, buses, and suburban train lines. One can travel between four of the boroughs without paying those high tolls, at least for the time being, as the municipal government hasn’t been able to collect tolls at the Brooklyn Bridge and other older Bridges. However, Staten Island is not accessible by car from the rest of the city without paying a toll (the ferry may take cars, but that’s going to be at least as costly as the bridge). The Verrazano Bridge toll is twice as high as the other NYC tolls but is collected only going to Staten Island, a small concession to Staten Island residents so they don’t have to sit in toll traffic both ways. Staten Island residents who regularly use the bridge also get a modest break on the toll. Not surprisingly, Staten Islanders don’t like the toll, nor do they like much else about being part of the city, although property taxes for homeowners in NYC are lower than surrounding suburbs.
    The George Washington Bridge and Lincoln and Holland Tunnels, which cross the Hudson River to connect Manhattan and New Jersey, and other Hudson River crossings are run by the Port Authority. This agency does have a modest rail line to subsidize, but its tolls are sky high because it has virtually no accountability–hence the billion dollar train station and other ridiculous costs for the World Trade Center, police who make $150,000 a year, and other extravagances. The Port Authority has also been serving as a slush fund for NJ governor Chris Christie to award supporters with projects, etc. As you can tell from the photo, the tolls have skyrocketed since 1970s.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      I just assumed it was for all the kick-backs and cover-ups that plague every project in the NY / NJ area. I thought everyone knew this, as its kind of their claim to fame.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      Since 9/11 there are no more cars on the remaining older ferries that are set up for car transport. New equipment no longer can carry cars.

      The City owned bridges are presently free.

  • avatar
    rentonben

    The tax tables are insane – I’ve had to write software for construction projects span multiple transit, school, and municipal jurisdictions.

    That said, I’m glad for the suffering – rolling up the taxes into a hidden lump sum would make it too easy for us to pretend that it’s not a burden.

    In my opinion, paycheck withholdings make paying income tax too easy – if we all had to write a check to the IRS on April 15th for our full income/fica tax there would be a lot of electroal changes for the better.

    • 0 avatar
      OneAlpha

      Quite right.

      Get rid of withholding (making everyone have to write their own checks) and make April 16th Election Day, and the tax problem will solve itself in short order.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      ^^^^ the truth about taxes – cell phone taxes, employment taxes, natural gas taxes, sales taxes, pick your poison. We’re nickel and dimed to death, and that’s all on top of the income tax 1/2 of us pay.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        This.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        A flat federal tax would be ideal. This way the impact is uniform for all. 20%, no deductions. Yeah, a lot of accountants will lose their job, but what was the refrain thrown at unemployed assembly workers? Oh, yeah, go retrain yourself.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I think it was go something else yourself.

          • 0 avatar
            VolandoBajo

            In the IT field, it was “go train your low cost foreign replacement, who has been certified as essential since we couldn’t find enough people with your skills in the US.”

            And I saw it happen more than once, as a consultant. And not just to us “highly paid” consultants.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    New York seems to have a big desire to be more difficult, more expensive, and generally a greater PITA in whatever sense you have to deal with it.

    Just look at the NYDFS. (NY Dept. of Financial Services)
    And their holier-than-thou Quaker-like interpretation of every single regulation. Then they add their own requirements on top of it.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    There’s a roundtable on Gawker titled “Why Do I Still Live In NYC? A Roundtable Discussion”…. it’s a good read.

    That said, even without the tolls, driving in NYC is absolutely miserable. The traffic, the traffic lights, the parking, the frost heave battered roads… I don’t miss it at all. If you are just visiting NYC, especially for the car show, bringing a car is completely unnecessary.

    I have been out for 2 years and 10 days today, and I still get flashbacks whenever I have to find street parking down here in Charlotte. Verrazano toll exists as a reminder that you should not be in a car there, or for that matter in the region.

  • avatar
    FractureCritical

    hey look, it’s something I know tons about!

    Why are the tolls so high? It’s not (entirely) that they can get away with it, and it’s not (entirely) because the money goes elsewhere.

    It’s (mostly) because these bridges are the most used and abused, probably in the world. the Mac bridge is a laughable comparison from a traffic perspective.

    Want to talk about truck weight? Legal limit is 80k lbs. In the NY region, the AVERAGE triple axle dumper can beat that by 50%. the container trucks aren’t much better. the bridges were designed for a truck that weighs 72,000 lbs. Oh, yeah, there’s legislation out there to bump to 100k lbs for legal limit in the port zones.

    Want to talk about traffic? ALL the crossings are at or over lane capacity (that’s 2000-2200 vehicles per lane per hour) at peak hours, which are really more like 4 hour long plateau hours in the morning and the evening, if everything goes right and the weather is clear.

    so where does the money go?

    It goes to keeping these epic bridges together as they have the snot kicked out of them by the heaviest and densest traffic in the world.

    It goes to late night overtime because you CAN NOT close even one lane of these bridges without a traffic management nightmare.

    It goes to premium materials like stainless steel and high-end ceramic concrete mixes because maybe, just maybe, you might a traffic closure to fix part of the deck, so use the best materials you can get for the one chance you get because you may not get it again.

    also that other stuff up top.

    • 0 avatar
      jpolicke

      Don’t forget that if you are driving a private car into or through the city, you are:
      A. Unwelcome
      B. Suspected of being one of the 1%
      C. Expected to subsidize mass transit for the “working poor”

      I have to laugh when people characterize Louisiana government as corrupt, when thanks to a law that forbids spending toll money on anything other than the object being tolled, you can still cross the 24-MILE Pontchartrain Causeway for $2 a pass. They can replace an entire section after being destroyed by a hurricane faster than NYC can patch a pothole.

    • 0 avatar
      jkk6

      Reminds me how and accident on the upper level GWB causes trouble on the Holland and Lincoln. Red line with black bars on google maps.

  • avatar
    craiger

    As CAMeyer points out, the Verrazano is run by the MTA, and a good portion of the toll is used to subsidize MTA rail infrastructure. I read an accounting report a number of years ago which indicated that the percentage of the toll was close to 50%.

    As another poster points out, the MTA for many years had a very generous pension system in place. For example, after working for 15 years, you could retire at 75% of your most recent salary. After 20 years, you could retire at 100%. This was the case in the past, I don’t know if new hires today have such a generous plan.

    The father of a close childhood friend of mine was an MTA mechanic. He retired after 34 years on the job. I don’t know what his salary was, but he was routinely clocking 84 hours per week for his last few years. First 40 hours were at straight time, then something like the next 16 or 20 at time and a half, then some at double time, with some of the remaining hours at triple time. So, he retired with 100% of that. Not relevant, but he went and got another job after he retired from the MTA. He was a cheap s.o.b. He never even bought his wife a clothes dryer. Hanging laundry on the line in the yard was good enough for her. Black and white TV into the late 1990s, only replacing it when it died. Rotary phone, because touch tone cost $1.

    That reminds me of another little factoid…the guys with seniority get first dibs on whatever overtime is available.

    And, I used to spend tons of time at their house, for many years it was my home away from home. There’s no way this man was actually at work 84 hours a week. Not even close.

  • avatar
    mmreeses

    “Why Are NYC Tolls So Expensive?”

    1. because they can charge so much, look at a map. big bodies of water = chokepoints.

    2. Metro NYC has chronic underinvestment in its infrastructure despite its $$$$ tolls.

    3. Voters in the NY/NJ area rarely determine their election day votes on transportation policy. So the Port Authority NY/NJ has become a honeypot for Dem. and Repub. politicans and their donors to stick their hands into—-with leftovers going to workers (in the form of pensions and favorable work conditions) and train/subway passengers in the form of fares that (while arguably high) still don’t match costs.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      ….Voters in the NY/NJ area rarely determine their election day votes on transportation policy…

      Actually, in the last Mayoral election, the very righty-tighty Staten Island actually voted for the progressive DeBlasio? Why? Well, the republican competitor (and much more highly qualified) Joe Lhota was from the MTA, and the one thing that frosts SI residents is that toll to get of the island…

  • avatar
    Truckducken

    It’d be nice to see the Feds go after these crooks instead of the penny-ante stuff at FIFA.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Cry me a river. Here in the GTA the privatized Highway 407 charges 30.20 cents per kilometer, plus the monthly transponder/account charge for the privilege of using their road. That’s about 48.62 cents per mile.

    How does that compare to American tolls?

    • 0 avatar
      th009

      CAD 0.4862/mile, or about USD 0.40/mile.

      Cheaper than the Verrazano Bridge!

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        But more expensive than the others?

        407 tolls go to the private owners not to transit etc.
        If you have a ‘transponder’ then they bill you electronically but you have to pay a monthly fee for it.

        If you don’t have a transponder then they bill you each time you enter/exit the highway plus a billing fee.

        And if you don’t pay the tolls, then they have an arrangement with the government and can deny your plate renewal.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    OMG! Uncle Buck’s gonna rear-end that Buick!

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Yeah I was looking, and I don’t think I’d want any of the vehicles in this photo. Course two+ of them are Chevettes.

      • 0 avatar
        RideHeight

        That ’72-ish Buick(?) with the white vinyl roof that looks like it’s about to get rammed would be a dreamy floater. I’d definitely husband an NOS unit for the rest of my driving life.

        The Caprice in front of it gives a good comparison for pre- and post-’77 downsizing.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          I believe it’s a circa 78 Grand Marquis sedan sir.

          https://www.flickr.com/photos/that_chrysler_guy/8667305803/in/photostream/

          She’s a beauty. That paint color is gorgeous.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            Damn, I wish the old photo were less blurry on the mystery car. The front quarter panel seems to have that little squarish cowl & crease around the headlights like early ’70s Buicks. But the rear end of the Marquis could be that with a bit of blur.

            I’m obsessing over this… going to do some work.

            Addendum… side trim strip and rear bumper say you’re right.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Yeah the Buicks I checked didn’t have side trim, and none of them had quite that large a logo on the rear as the Marquis.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            Hell, if I had either one in like-new shape I’d be ecstatic. That Marquis is NOBLE!

  • avatar
    loguesmith

    If you have a month or two, read “The Power Broker” by Robert Caro. While it’s the biography of Robert Moses, who wielded great power over the infrastructure of NYC and the surrounding areas, it also reads as a bit of transportation history of NYC from the 1920’s through the early 1970’s.

    Lots of detail behind the building of the roads, bridges and tunnels in and around NYC, including those not built (LI Sound Crossing, for example). Goes into detail about the financial hijinks surrounding the tolls and how the money was collected and used.

    Yeah, the book is 1300 pages, but well worth the read to be fully informed on the subject.

    • 0 avatar
      Nick_515

      Thanks for bringing this up, loguesmith. That’s right… bridges and tunnels are the legacy of robert moses, who used (most of) the tolls to keep building. I presume a lot of it is going simply into maintenance now. We also know from the study done for zone pricing – or whatever that thing was called where Bloomberg would like to charge cars diving south of 72nd street in manhattan – that most drivers to Manhattan are not rich people, but people of relatively modest means underserved by the subway system in Brookyn and Queens.

      “New York just doesn’t want you there” – don’t be superstitious guys. nobody sits down deciding tolls based on how much they like or dislike people, though locational bias does exist.

      Triboro – i mean RFK – is the only one charging all three ways, but it’s like 7 or something, i forget since i got the fastlane thingie. it can be bypassed easily through the free Willis/Third Avenue bridges between manhattan and bronx, but not in and from queens.

      Also, I’ve always loved driving in NYC, but that’s because i’ve never had to do it during rush hour. In fact, there is a time in my life where i was to do what i’d call the Robert Moses tour, which is rent fancy zipcars for an hour and circle manhattan at speed at night from FDR to West highway. It’s a beautiful city, though i’ve since moved away.

  • avatar
    realpower1

    as a nyc resident let me add in one factor. because tens of thousands of people come to the city to make their living and then return to jersey for example where they sleep, register their car, pay their property taxes, buy their groceries, blah blah, the tolls are one way to extract monies from these people for the use of the city for their often high paying jobs. (middle class people reply on public transportation more often than not) the same could be said of the B&T crowd flocking to the city every weekend to take advantage of what it offers, and leaving nothing more behind than the city’s percentile cut of the sales tax on their purchases is not going to cover much in the way of city infrastructure in an aging city like this. the B&T tax is one way to fund public transit so encourage its use.

  • avatar
    ixim

    FWIW – Port Authority Hudson crossing tolls – GW Bridge and the two tunnels subsidize other transit plus the rebuilt Ground Zero. $14 most times. $5.75 if you have 3 in the car w/EZ Pass. The Triboro Bridge and the two other tunnels charge about$12 round trip and subsidize mass transit, too. Every mayor since Lindsay 50 years ago has opposed the free use of private motor vehicles. Despite that, the East River bridges plus many others connecting the boroughs are still free. Bllomberg’s attempt to charge a toll south of 96th Street failed narrowly a few years ago. Love it or not, there’s no place like it.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    If you removed the tolls, you wouldn’t be able to travel into the city through the tunnels on any schedule, your own or otherwise.

    New York is the densest city in America. There’s not remotely enough room for everyone to drive a car. It’s hardly odd to charge for using road space, which is a precious resource. This isn’t to defend the PA, just to acknowledge that tolls are needed to keep traffic moving at all.

    Also, realpower1 is right that commuters into the city free ride on a whole lot of city services.

  • avatar
    skor

    I was born in Jersey City. The Holland Tunnel connects Jersey City to Lower Manhattan. I currently reside in Bergen County, NJ. The Hudson River crossings, the bridges between Staten Island and Jersey, the ports, the area airports, the WTC, the PATH train are operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey a bi-state agency. Part of the high costs are associated with the insane levels of traffic in this area. The George Washington Bridge is the busiest bridge in the world, it handles 106 million vehicles a year. The tolls also subsidize things like the WTC. A big cost is just plain ol’ corruption. The PA is a cesspool of patronage. The PA cops are some of the highest paid in the country. It’s not uncommon for PA cops to take home over $200K in salary and OT. The governors of both NY and NJ dump their political friends into do-nothing jobs at the PA.

    As for the Tri-Boro and Verrazano Bridges, they are operate by the MTA (Metropolitan Transit Authority of New York) A large part of the tolls go to subsidize mass transit, including the Staten Island Ferry which is free of charge. Car drivers pay for the privilege so the less affluent get to ride mass transit, so socialism.

    • 0 avatar
      mmreeses

      ” Car drivers pay for the privilege so the less affluent get to ride mass transit, so socialism.”

      yes, whenever I ride the Metro North I brush shoulders with lots of rednecks and dudes from the ghetto.

  • avatar
    an innocent man

    Wait, I thought the tolls weren’t to enter Manhattan but to leave New Jersey. And everyone is willing to pay ‘whatever it takes’ to get out of Jersey.

    • 0 avatar
      skor

      Some people would get that impression since the Delaware River tolls are on on the Jersey side as well. “Hey, welcome to Jersey? What? You wanna leave? Crack open your wallet. Fuhgeddaboudit!”

      BTW, it’s possible to cross from Jersey into Manhattan for free by walking or biking across the George Washington Bridge, I’ve done it many times.

      • 0 avatar
        Dave M.

        Holy crap you’re brave. I’m terrified just driving over it…I can’t imagine walking. Bridges and water completely unsettle me.

        Driving from New Haven to southern Pennsylvania for college, I figured the fast but expensive way was 95 to GWB to NJTP to 76, but the slower, cheaper, scenic route was Merritt to Tappan Zee to 81. All these years later I still prefer that route when visiting. You don’t catch a glimpse of the beautiful NYC skyline however.

        Too bad about the bridge from Jericho to CT….95 traffic through New Haven is horrible, especially in summer with the Cape traffic. A bridge could easily charge $30 and get it.

        Apparently CT is headed back towards tolls these days…

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    Cause driving on pot-holed, messed up roads is a privilege most people in the sun belt don’t get to experience.

  • avatar
    Cabriolet

    NYC is a big money town. I ran my business in NYC for many years until i retired. I drove into Manhattan every day of the week. Every year my rent, parking expenses and even my lunch costs went up. After 45 years and 9-11 i moved to Queens and finally gave my business to my Son-in-law when he retired from the NYC Police dept.
    Yes the taxes, driving & rent went sky high but i loved working in NYC. 50 years ago NYC was one of the major transportation industry hubs. Everyone in the industry was located in lower Manhattan. Today everyone is gone to cheaper areas. I think i was one of the last freight forwarders to leave NYC. This also included the banks, insurance companies, steamship companies and other companies related to shipping. Speaking of NY & NJ Port Authority my in-laws worked for the Authority and at a family party i asked one of them what they do for the Authority. They looked at me with a blank face and said good question they don’t know! But again this is NYC. Public service jobs pay a lot of money and at retirement you get a great retirement payoff. A few of my running buddies are retired school teachers and they have no worries at all. Every month the money comes in like clock work. I have no worries i saved a lot of money over the years but i also worked many hours to make the money. NYC is a very costly city.

  • avatar
    deanst

    2 points to anyone who can accurately guess the year of the photo based on the cars.

    I thing GM made the the rear ( and front ) of the chevette more square in the early 80’s, so I’ll guess 1984.

    Show your work!

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      I can’t be more precise than mid-late ’80s. The E-van looks like the ’88 I had for work back then, the squarish K-cars and Chevettes argue for mid-80s and there are a few surviving malaise dinosaurs, too.

  • avatar
    Joe K

    The Triboro Bridge and Tunnel Authority is an old name . Everything falls under the MTA. Tolls do go to mass transit.
    “MTA Bridges and Tunnels, legally known as the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority, is an affiliate agency of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, that operates seven intrastate toll bridges and two tunnels in New York City. In terms of traffic volume, it is the largest bridge and tunnel toll agency in the United States serving more than a million people each day and generating more than $900 million in toll revenue annually.” Wikipedia.

    Its long been highway robbery.

  • avatar
    Joe K

    I almost forgot, it doesn’t stop with tolls. There is an MTA surcharge on payrolls, property taxes, taxi rides and hell even on the land line.

    It has more or less due to the way the MTA debt is structured and the states refusal to help them out of the situation.

    http://gothamist.com/2015/02/12/mta_debt_billions.php

    Every so often they talk of putting tolls on the free bridges as a way to reduce congestion, when we all know its a money grab.

  • avatar
    ClutchCarGo

    Why does the Verrazano bridge cost more to use than the Mackinaw? For the same reason a ticket to see Springsteen costs more than a ticket to see South Side Johnny. Both are artists from the same area of NJ but lots more people want one over the other. It’s the market, obeying basic supply and demand.

    I love it when people complain about govt inefficiency and want it run more like a business, then whine when it IS run like a business and it costs them more for their own use. Suddenly socialism is in order.

    • 0 avatar
      seth1065

      I pay over $400 a month to the MTA for using the bridges and tunnels , it is truly highway robbery , the roads are 4th world level, traffic sucks here big time, FIFA looks clean next to the MTA, I can live with the getting screwed with the prices but at least fix the damm roads, the drivers help pay to keep the subways cheap, and rebuild the trade center, I do not think the MTA has built a new bridge or tunnel in 50 years, the tap pan zee is going to fall into the Hudson soon when they finally build a replacement I can not even guess what the tolls on that will be.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        We have a similar bridge problem in Western PA. Everything’s gone to sh*t since about 1970 and although some highways were added since then much of the infrastructure is 1960s or earlier (some bridges date to near 1900).

        I’m really starting to believe society as a whole is not going to be capable of living a 20th Century standard of living for the long term, things are simply too dysfunctional.

      • 0 avatar

        Yes, as someone near the new Tappan Zee bridge, they have been quite coy with the proposed new toll, haven’t they ?

        • 0 avatar
          seth1065

          Oh do not worry we will only put tolls on it to pay for it, once it is paid off we will take down the tolls, Oh by the way it is paid for but we needed to take out a second mortgage on it so we can change the state flag from blue to yellow and change the font in MTA, and we need to pay for a study or 90 to see if the old Tap should be turned into a garden or a skate park, oh we need some extra money in the general fund seems Albany law makers have taken more the the born so we need to replenish it, but when this are paid off we will takedown the tolls.

      • 0 avatar
        jkk6

        I’ll give you a good laugh.

        Crossing the bridge is like playing a puzzle game.

        Driving around the pot holes are so fun. The ones you know that are there are gone the next day and come back in the identical spot some times and the one that look like pot hole aren’t pot hole at all, and then sometime you go over a certain section that you know looks like a pot hole but isn’t and then BAM! keeps you alert again. They arise like pimples, pot hole patterns changing EVERYDAY.

  • avatar
    ixim

    Back when the GW Bridge toll was $.50 each way, there was a rumor that the 30 year old bonds were paid for. The tolls stayed. The current Tappan Zee toll gets you across the Hudson for less than half the GW toll. The new Tap – two bridges, no waiting! Will undoubtedly close that gap.

  • avatar
    Veee8

    If I recall I crossed the entire state of NY for about 20 dollars on our way to Cape Cod where as our lovely 407 gouged me for close to that just crossing Toronto, ouch.

  • avatar
    OneAlpha

    Maybe it’s presumptuous of me, but I’ve been working on designs for a flying car for years, and part of what keeps me on this back-burner project is the state of the country’s infrastructure.

    Think about the Mars project NASA is working on. They’re putting all this effort into psychologically screening and training candidates to live in an enclosed, cramped environment for the nine-month (or whatever) trip without going insane and murdering each other.

    Good luck with that.

    It seems to me that instead of trying to fight the human psyche, the development dollars would be better spent designing a faster ship to make the trip shorter, obviating the need for the psychological aspects of the program.

    You only need a minimal amount of tolerance for your fellow crew members’ foibles if the trip’s only going to take a week, rather than a year.

    In the same vein, air cars would obviate roads, bridges, tunnels and the enormous amounts of continuing maintenance these structures need.

    Sure, you’d need to set up GPS-guided corridors in the sky to serve as “roads,” as well as find a way to make crashes survivable and the vehicles themselves quiet, durable and reliable enough for everyday use, but the benefits, however far off, still outweigh the downsides.

    No need to pave THE FUCKING SKY. No more DOT bottlenecking ten miles of Interstate just to work on a 500-foot stretch during banker’s hours.

  • avatar
    KyleA

    Tolls are a big part of the reason I moved from Brooklyn to South Florida last year. Average EZ-Pass bill for my commute was around $800 a month and no, mass transit was not an option due to location of job sites and hours worked. Funny thing is that down here in FL everyone bitches about the toll roads costing too much. I laugh my ass off. The average toll is $1.04 (with Sun-Pass) and the roads are pristine. No potholes, no expansion joints with 6in height difference, no sunken catch basins waiting to destroy a tire and wheel. I’ll gladly pay that buck in exchange for not having to do an alignment 3X a year or replace tires and wheels that have been destroyed. The toll situation in NYC is not sustainable. Both the MTA & Port Authority have scheduled automatic annual toll increases through 2020. If your in the trucking business it’s crippling. For example, say you own a fleet of tri-axle dump trucks and you have an excavation site in Brooklyn with a disposal site in Southern NJ. The toll for commercial vehicles is assessed by the axle and there are three tolls that will have to be paid to reach the disposal site. The Verazzano Bridge into Staten Island, the NJ Turnpike and then one of the Port Authority crossings from NJ back into NY. Currently the EZ-Pass toll bill for one truck doing one trip would be….

    1. VZ Bridge(1 way toll) – 4 [email protected]$10.50 per axle=$42.00 X however many trips are scheduled, usually 3 trips depending on traffic conditions. $126.00
    2. NJTP – Toll varies depending on how far but let’s say exit 13 to exit 3. Toll – $20.65 X 6 trips(toll charged each way)=$123.90
    3. Goethals Bridge(1 way toll) – 4 [email protected]$14.00=$56.00 X 3=$168.00

    Your EZ-pass total for one days tolls for one of your trucks is $417.00. If you have a decent fleet (10 trucks), you’re looking $4179.90 a day in tolls.
    By 2020 all of the crossings will be @20.00. Like I said. UNSUSTAINABLE.

    • 0 avatar
      skor

      Manhattan is becoming a fortress island for the super rich. Peons, like me and you, are being squeezed out.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Leave the Bronx. You are ordered to leave the Bronx.

        http://mst3k.wikia.com/wiki/Escape_2000

      • 0 avatar
        OneAlpha

        I think it was Kevin Williamson who made the comment that, “…cities like San Francisco are playgrounds for the rich, and an endless trial for everyone else.”

        Well said.

      • 0 avatar

        That was the real push behind congestion pricing. Once NYC real estate saw that property “inside the (fortress ?) walls” went up in value in London, they pushed hard for the congestion tax. Don’t forget that one key point of congestion pricing was there *had* to be a monetary part, so you could be definitely tracked and the “system” would then be perpetual.

        Luckily, the REST of New York State disagreed, so NYC was not allowed to do this. Likewise, they can’t get as many $cameras as they want to enforce the new 25 mph speed limit for the same reason. Children should not be allowed to play with laws…

  • avatar
    Joe K

    And what truly sucks..

    I am having some scary medical issues, where i am forced to drive into NYC because walking is scary and stairs are terrifying. Normally i would take mass transit. SO I am forced to drive in across a tolled crossing, 18-25.00 for parking for the office visit (no street parking around Mt Sinai), then tolls back. I tired local Dr’s they were, useless. Thankfully for now I can afford this with cheap gas. That adds up fast.

    • 0 avatar
      dtremit

      The lack of transit accessibility in NYC is really unacceptable in this day and age. I had to navigate Penn Station at a time when I couldn’t safely ride an escalator, and I ended up literally walking blocks out of my way to find the one elevator (which, incidentally, smelled so strongly of urine that I had to cover my nose for the ride). The subway was out of the question — few stations have even escalators, let alone elevators. At least there are taxis everywhere.

  • avatar
    dtremit

    Poor comparison. You’re comparing what is essentially the round trip tourist toll on the most expensive bridge in NYC to a one-way toll on a bridge that’s basically in the middle of nowhere.

    Anyone who lives in the Northeast and has a brain has an EZPass, so let’s compare those rates:

    Verrazano Narrows bridge, EZpass: $11.08, round trip
    Lincoln & Holland Tunnel, GW Bridge: $9.75 off-peak / $11.75 peak, round trip
    Tappan Zee bridge: $4.75 round trip

    And compare with the crossings in Detroit:

    Ambassador Bridge: $10 round trip
    Detroit/Windsor Tunnel: $9.25 round trip

    Not so different, is it?

  • avatar
    Tomas De Torquematic

    People of New York! Google prices for Sydney, Melbourne. Brisbane, Australia and breathe a smug sigh of relief.


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