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Incredible shrinking demand for MTA bridges and tunnels


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The number of drivers using MTA bridges and tunnels has fallen for 12 straight months, another troubling threat to the agency's bottom line, officials said Wednesday.


"I can't say I remember anything like that," MTA Bridges and Tunnels Acting President David Moretti said.


The latest statistics show drivers took 25 million trips over bridges and through tunnels last month, down 1.3 million - or 4.8% - from October 2007.


Much of the 12-month slide can be attributed to high gas prices. But last month's downturn may be the result of commuters no longer having jobs to go to in Manhattan, officials said. Traffic at the MTA's four Manhattan crossings was down on average about 7% from September to October, even though gas prices had fallen, Moretti said.


"It would be the high-paid guys and gals who would rather drive [to work] than ride the train," MTA Chairman Dale Hemmerdinger said. "My goodness."


Even though drivers are taking fewer trips, overall revenues are still up this year because tolls were raised in March. Officials are closely monitoring the numbers, Moretti said.


MTA Bridges and Tunnels is a big source of funds for the mass transit network of buses, subways and commuter trains, providing more than $700 million in surplus funds annually.



nydailynews_logo.gif STAFF WRITER

November 13th 2008



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  • 1 month later...

My guess is that driving is not that popular anymore for people to move around these days, with the high gasoline prices, but even when the regular gallon of gasoline is under $2, I don't see much car and truck traffic these days, not on the East River Crossings, and major bridges. I have never seen a traffic jam on the Whitestone Bridge, nor the Triborough Bridge in over a year, well I don't check those places that often.

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Well ,that would worsen the (MTA) budget... The (MTA) should not raise the prices of the tolls and if they do, more people wouldn't ride Pub Trans and use the Bridges and Tunnels...


Huh??? How would raising tolls make people NOT inclined to ride mass transit and instead turn to driving?? I'm confused.

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