The Journal News broke the story last night that Cuomo’s top aide Larry Schwartz indicated at a community meeting that the new Tappan Zee Bridge may have a $14 round-trip toll, up from the current $5 toll.
“It’s no-brainer,” Schwartz said.
From the Lohud article:
Schwartz made the revelation in front of more than 150 people attending a community meeting on the $5 billion project at Rockland Community College in Ramapo.
His announcement marked the first time that the state attached a figure to the tolls, arguably the second-most-asked question after exactly how much the bridge will cost. That figure will be known in the coming weeks.
State officials previously said tolls would be close to those of other Hudson River crossings. Tolls on the George Washington Bridge will rise to $14 cash on the first Sunday in December 2014, but Schwartz said they likely would be higher by the time the new Tappan Zee crossing opens in 2017.
He said building a new bridge was the “most sensible, affordable, practical option on the table.”
Besides the tolls, officials discussed the Final Environmental Impact Statement. They said the document was flexible enough to address the concerns not covered in its 10,000 pages.
Schwartz said the report “lays out a minimum standard” for mitigating issues such as noise, pollution, vibrations and river impacts.
“This doesn’t preclude the state from adding more things to the project,” he said.