The MTA rebate program for Queens residents who use the Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge, which was set to go into effect in the summer of 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic postponed the rollout, will now be launched in February, Assemblymember Stacey Pheffer Amato announced last week.
Under the Queens Resident Toll Rebate Program, the MTA will reimburse all residents with vehicles registered in Queens who use E-ZPass for trips they make across the span over Jamaica Bay. Legislation that secured funding for the rebate program was passed by Pheffer Amato and state Senator Joseph Addabbo.
Currently, E-ZPass users with transponders issued by the New York pay $2.60 per car or $2.17 per motorcycle to cross.
“Promises made, promises kept. After years of hard work and perseverance, my constituents from Lindenwood, Howard Beach, Hamilton Beach and Ozone Park will no longer be penalized,” Pheffer Amato said in a statement. “Through this legislation I passed with Senator Addabbo, Queens residents who utilize the New York E-ZPass program and register for the program will get full access to their entire borough, especially the Rockaway Peninsula. Finally, the MTA and the Governor have listened and are implementing the removal of a barrier to secure economic opportunities for everyone in Queens.”
Addabbo called it a victory for Queens residents that will encourage more visitors to the Rockaways and support local businesses.
“We are about to witness the rebate of an unfair toll on the Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge for Queens residents,” Addabbo said. “This reversal is a monumental victory and an effort that elected officials and residents have been striving to accomplish for decades. This achievement will rebate residents for the only intra-borough toll in the city, assist the economic growth and enjoyment of the Rockaway Peninsula, and could not have been accomplished without the collective efforts of the community.”
Assemblymember Khaleel Anderson thanked Pheffer Amato and Addabbo for their advocacy on the issue.
“This Queens Resident Toll Program is helping to deliver equity to my constituents who have some of the longest commutes by car or transit in the five boroughs,” Anderson said.
State Sen. James Sanders, who represents the Rockaways, said the program will benefit all Queens residents use the span that connects the peninsula to south Queens.
“I am pleased that we are taking steps to provide some relief to Queens residents who rely on the Cross Bay Bridge,” Sanders said. “This rebate will help to make commuting more affordable and will put money back into the pockets of working families.”