Edited by: JV Staff
For those New Yorkers and others who travel on the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge on a daily or somewhat regular basis, it appears that congestion will not be eased on the Staten Island side of the bridge, according to the Metropolitan Transit Authority.
A new toll system which took effect on December 1st means that drivers must pay to cross the bridge in both directions, but the total for a round trip equals the toll that was only collected on one side before.
YWN reported that for a number of years, drivers bypassed tolls by entering Staten Island through New Jersey and then heading to Brooklyn.
The new ‘split-tolling’ law ends the process that charged travelers double on just the westbound side (toward Staten Island) and no charge on the eastbound side (toward Brooklyn), according to the YWN report. Rather, motorists will be charged half of the original price in each direction. The new law does not raise the total round-trip fee, as was reported by YWN.
For motorists traveling with an E-ZPass the charge for each direction will now be $6.12 – which results in a $12.24 charge for round-trip.
Motorists without an E-ZPass, will have to dig a bit deeper in to their wallets. Travelers who decide to pay by mail will now be charged a $9.50 fee in each direction – for a total of $19.
This new tolling policy marks the very first time in 35 years that drivers will be required to pay tolls in both directions on the iconic bridge that has been connecting Brooklyn to State Island since 1964. It was the longest suspension bridge in the world until it was eclipsed by the Humber Bridge in the United Kingdom in 1981.
In 1960 the bridge was named in honor of the 16th-century explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano, but an orthographic disagreement led to its being spelled with a single z. In 2018, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill that was passed in the state senate to rectify the misspelling.
In 1986, federal legislation made the span the only one in the country with mandatory one-direction tolls, according to a report in the New York Post.
Because the cost of the toll is prohibitive to so many travelers, many have figured out how to bypass the toll. Each day over 7000 drivers go to Manhattan instead. This generally results in bumper to bumper traffic on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and Canal Street in lower Manhattan, as was reported in the Post.