Saturday, January 24, 2009
Cross Bay users come out in force
...an estimated 300 people turned out at the Sheraton LaGuardia East, many of them residents of Broad Channel and the Rockaways, who were there to protest a plan to charge them for driving the Cross Bay Bridge. Currently, local residents pay a toll -- but get a refund under a program the MTA wants to eliminate.
"The bridge is vital to our existence," said a local resident. "It is the only place in New York City where a neighbor is charged a toll to visit, go to school, or shop within the same borough."
"Any toll on this bridge violates the New York City Charter and will be a hardship for the residents of the Rockaways and Broad Channel," said another.
In addition to toll increases, the MTA also plans to raise the base subway and bus fare as high as $3 in June and implement service cuts in the spring. Among the cuts proposed by the agency is the elimination of the Q26, Q56, Q74, Q75, Q84, QM22, QM23 and X32 bus routes.