Cross Bay Bridge Rebate Retroactive To April 1
The MTA announced on Wednesday that all tolls for Rockaway and Broad Channel residents with E-ZPass using the Cross Bay Bridge will once again be fully rebated by the MTA, effective immediately, thanks to $4 million in funding provided in the State budget.
The restoration of the rebate plan will be retroactive to April 1 when the state budget was passed. Residents in the zip codes of 11691, 11692, 11693, 11694, 11695, and 11697 will continue to be charged for the first two trips within a 24- hour period on the same E-ZPass tag until back office software modifications to the resident E-ZPass tags are completed by late July. Once these back office operations are accomplished, customers will receive credit for tolls incurred on the bridge retroactive to April 1.
“We are pleased to be able to return this program to the residents of the Rockaways and Broad Channel,” MTA Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Joseph Lhota said. “Following the approval of a budget that will allow the MTA to complete a very aggressive capital plan, restoration of the rebate program is another sign of support that Governor Cuomo and the Legislature recognize the need to maintain and provide an efficient, affordable mass transit system.”
The Rockaway resident rebate program was modified in July 2010 as part of the MTA’s efforts to close a large budget deficit. Under the modified plan, residents in the six valid zip codes paid the discounted resident E-ZPass rate of $1.13 for each of the first two trips across the bridge. All subsequent trips taken in the same day on the same E-ZPass tag were rebated by the MTA.
As a result of the State funding, all trips for those in the Cross Bay program will be rebated by the MTA. If funding for the program is eliminated, the modified Cross Bay rebate plan will go back into effect.
“Joe Lhota has been a breath of fresh air at the MTA and I commend him for doing the right thing for the residents of Rockaway and Broad Channel,” said Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder. “Hardworking families should not be burdened with this unfair fee for one day longer than they have to and now we will finally get the relief we so desperately need and deserve.”
Previously, Assemblyman Goldfeder sent a letter to Lhota asking that the MTA reinstate the full residency discount and shortly after, he followed up with a petition containing 2,000 signatures in support of the toll’s elimination.
The rebate plan is only valid at the Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge for passenger vehicles using E-ZPass and enrolled in the Rockaway Resident Program. It does not apply to commercial trucks, motorcycles, taxis, buses or limousines.
In 2009, prior to the rebate plan’s modification, 3.6 million trips were taken by residents participating in the Cross Bay Resident Rebate program. In 2011, 3.2 million trips were taken.