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Staten Island Residents Protest Against Verrazano-Narrows Bridge Toll

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Staten Island residents on Saturday protested against the toll on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, which has now reached $15.

The higher toll was approved by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in December. Residents complained that it was hitting people who could not afford it in the pocketbooks.

"This proposal will hit the pockets of all New Yorkers who traverse the Verrazano Bridge for the
purposes of work, shopping, medical care, family visits, and more," New York State Sen. Martin J. Golden (R-Brooklyn) said in a December letter to then-MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota before the hike was approved.

The letter noted that even before the hike, drivers on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge had to pay a toll of $13, which was already the nation's highest.

"In these difficult economic times, the last thing New Yorkers need is the burden of additional travel expenses. The proposal now before the MTA will further strain the budgets of millions of
New York's families and cause a loss of revenue for countless businesses," Golden said in the release. "This proposal is not only misguided, it is something New Yorkers are not willing to accept."

Some Staten Island residents have emphasized complained that they are being treated as the "ATM for the MTA."

Thousands also signed an unsuccessful petition to stop the hike.

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