Five Dollars Will Still Get You from Here to There

Although the super crane will save New York State super bucks, there are no definite toll numbers for the new bridge.

Discounts ahead for local residents, commuters?/Rani Levi

Discounts ahead for local residents, commuters?/Rani Levi

While in Rockland last week, Governor Cuomo was asked about the toll and finance task force he proposed in 2012. “We don’t know how much we will we get from the federal government, how much we will get from the state; there are state loans and grants we can access,” he replied.

Add to this built-in contract incentives for Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC (TZC) to finish the project before spring 2018 or subtract penalties for completing it later. “Once you have those numbers, then you can come up with a plan about how to do it, what commuters should pay, on-hour, off-hour, etc.,” he said.

The governor told us two years ago we’d get a discount. I’m betting it means a discount from the fares that will surely increase.

Meantime, Senator David Carlucci announced his toll relief plan for Westchester and Rockland County residents to offset that scenario earlier this week.

His initiative includes a 60 percent discount for local commuters, a personal income tax credit (proposed earlier this year) of $250 for single filers or $500 for those filing jointly, a plan (announced last summer) for nabbing chronic toll evaders, and consolidated services between the New York State Bridge Authority — which operates the Bear Mountain, Newburgh-Beacon, Mid-Hudson, Kingston-Rhinecliff, and Rip Van Winkle bridges — and the Thruway Authority, which operates the Tappan Zee Bridge.

When a customer was charged because his E-ZPass® account balance dipped too low to use the system, Carlucci helped waive the fine. E-ZPass® customers whose accounts reach zero balance have several payment options.

I’m all for his proposals and would like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2014

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