A plan to split the one-way toll on the Verrazzano Bridge was approved by the MTA Board on Wednesday.
The MTA plans to put split-tolling into effect by the end of the year and charge drivers $6.12 in both directions — $3.44 in both directions for Staten Island residents who take three or more trips a month, and $3.63 for island residents who take fewer than three trips a month.
The transit agency projects this will net it an extra $10 million a year, at a time when its financial outlook is grim.
Currently, the $19 toll, the most expensive in the United States, applies only to drivers entering Staten Island through Brooklyn.
In late December, a split-tolling plan was included in a $1.4 trillion government-wide spending package that the House of Representatives passed.
Local lawmakers have pushed for split tolling for months, saying many drivers avoid the toll altogether by entering Staten Island through New Jersey before crossing into Brooklyn.
Currently, E-ZPass commuters pay over $12 for the bridge in one shot. For Staten Island residents with an E-ZPass and who make three or more trips a month, the toll is $6.88 right now.
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Originally, tolls were collected for drivers heading in both directions on the Verrazzano. That changed in the 1980s, when then-Rep. Guy Molinari spearheaded an effort to change the toll to be a one-way toll. The one-way toll went into effect in 1986.
Officials had cited the need for one-way tolling to cut down on traffic backups from toll gantries, but the bridge implemented cashless tolling in 2017.
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