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Is there any correlation between tolls and reality?

July 12, 2009

ver_brOn Monday, the tolls for the major bridges and tunnels under the auspices of the MTA will increase by 50 cents to $5.50 for those paying cash.

Most outrageous is the cost of the one-way toll for those who use the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge which will be $11 for those paying cash.

The current national minimum wage is $6.55.  Fortunately it goes up on July 24, 2009 to a whopping $7.25 per hour.  A worker getting paid $7.25 an hour will only need to work ONE AND A HALF HOURS to earn enough to cross the bridge!   

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics website, Manhattan’s average weekly wage during the first quarter of 2008 was more than three times the national average — $2,805 compared to $905. No other county in New York City had an average weekly wage above that of the nation. Average wages in Queens, Bronx, Richmond, and Kings were $852, $803, $745, and $730,  respectively, and ranged from 6 to 19 percent below the national level.

So someone traveling from NJ to Queens where he receives an average weekly salary of $852, would spend 6% of his pay on just the toll for the Verrazano Bridge.  Yes, I know that if one has an E-Z Pass, one would receive a discount, paying $9.14 per round trip.  Yippee for the E-Z Pass savings of  $465 a year, but you still spent $2,285 just to cross a bridge!!!!  That is completely insane.   For that price, I would expect to receive a title to the bridge.

Want to travel from Brooklyn to New Jersey for free?  One can avoid tolls all together by coming across the Brooklyn Bridge or the Manhattan Bridge, travel through Chinatown via Canal Street and  head out through the Holland Tunnel.  Of course, this will add significantly to the travel time as Canal Street is typically a parking lot.

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