Staten Islanders get a toll break on Verrazano Bridge

Staten Islanders get a toll break on Verrazano Bridge

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

It's not often you hear a government official announce that a tax or toll is decreasing, but that's exactly what Gov. Andrew Cuomo did on Staten Island, where residents who drive who will benefit the most.

The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, which connects Staten Island and Brooklyn, is the longest suspension bridge in the United States. Residents who use it often qualify for a $6 E-ZPass toll, a steep discount from the cash toll of $15.

But Cuomo said he has reached a deal that will reduce the toll for residents with E-ZPass to just $5.50.

Commercial vehicles will get a break, too: a 20 percent discount on their E-ZPass tolls, which vary depending on the size of the truck. The toll reduction deal was put together with Cuomo and legislative leaders with an eye to strengthening the Staten Island economy.

Nonresident drivers without E-ZPass will still have to cough up $15 to get across the bridge. But Staten Island residents welcome the chance to save on what for many is a daily necessity.

The toll reduction will be paid for by the state and by the MTA. Before it goes into effect, it has to pass the MTA board later this month.

The governor expects the toll relief to go into effect on April 1.

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