E-ZPass tag holders with cars registered to addresses all across Queens will soon get a rebate on the Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge once only reserved for local residents.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority expanded the rebate after approval by the legislature to open the Outer Borough Transportation Account levied from for-hire vehicles to all passenger cars.
Drivers eligible for the rebate will need to have their cars registered to valid addresses in Queens, the MTA said, adding that the discount will not hurt the agencies finances.
Under the current MTA program, Rockaway area drivers receive a $2.84 discount per trip ($1.41 versus $4.25 Tolls by Mail rate) on the Marine Parkway and Cross Bay Bridges. The MTA rebates Cross Bay Bridge tolls after each trip.
The borough-wide Cross Bay Bridge discount takes effect in the spring of 2020, the MTA noted.
“This is a HUGE victory not only for the residents of Rockaway, but for all the hardworking families and small business of Queens. Expanding the Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge rebate program to all Queens residents is a complete economic game changer for our communities in allowing freedom and ease of access to the entire Borough,” Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato said.
State Senator Joseph Addabbo claimed the rebate would ease commerce in the Rockaways, making it even more of a destination than it has already become in the summer months.
The toll on the Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge, Addabbo said, “has hampered the potential for economic opportunities on the Rockaway Peninsula.”
“Once the rebate is expanded to all Queens residents, individuals can work in Rockaway, as well as enjoy the beaches, ferry, restaurants and all else that Rockaway has to offer, without the additional financial burden,” Addabbo added.
During beach season, the NYC Ferry has become a popular alternative to driving for people to access the peninsula from across the city, leading the de Blasio administration to add larger vessels to the route.
The Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge links the southern tip of Broad Channel with the Rockaways. It’s the only crossing in New York City in which drivers are charged to travel between two different points of the same borough.