By REBECCA ROSENBERG and SALLY GOLDENBERG, NY Post
Ending free rides on four East River bridges will hurt not only drivers - it would take a huge toll on Manhattan merchants, who will pass the cost on to their customers, business owners said yesterday.
They complained that they'll be charged more for deliveries and attract fewer customers from Brooklyn and Queens.
"There are only so many price increases we can absorb," said Niki Russ Federman, co-owner of Russ & Daughters, a Lower East Side appetizer shop.
Merchants are already getting hit with higher fuel surcharges on their deliveries, and new tolls will only make matters worse.
Bent Singh, who manages a gas station on the Lower East Side, said, "No one will leave Brooklyn for $5 to get an oil change."
Sen. Charles Schumer said he was hopeful that the Obama administration will restore transportation money the city lost from Washington over the last eight years.