Statement by Staten Island Borough President candidate Leticia Remauro on MTA Vote to Eliminate Carpool Discount and Reduce SI Resident Discount on VZ Bridge

“Once again the MTA has demonstrated that it lacks the ability to balance its budget without harming Staten Island. When the MTA begged congress to reverse the one way toll legislation, Chairman Foye said two way tolling would increase income on the bridge. At the press conference hosted by then Congressman Max Rose, I warned that if the Congressman failed to negotiate the earmarking of excess revenue to fund discount programs at the current levels, Staten Islanders would fall victim to a bait and switch which is exactly what took place today. How does a transportation authority, whose mission should be to get people out of their cars, penalize 13,000 people for carpooling just so they can save $1.4million? That is insanity and it demonstrates that Chairman Foye and the MTA Board have lost sight of their mission. Raising tolls on Staten Islanders who are already underserved by public transportation during a time when most people don’t know if they will still have a job in coming months is shameful. The Chairman stated that the MTA’s budget is extremely fragile even with federal funding. Well I have a question for Chairman Foye, ‘Where do Staten Islanders go to find the additional funds to pay their tolls so they can balance their own extremely fragile budget?’ If the MTA is too big to be able to function responsibly, perhaps it is time to break it up.”