NYC: Transit Authority Gives Manhattan Taxi Fees to Queens Drivers

A portion of approximately $300 million in transit revenues that will be generated this year from fees imposed on taxis in Manhattan will be siphoned off from subway and bus riders to give toll discounts to Queens residents who drive over the Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge beginning next spring, the MTA announced today.

Since Jan. 1, the state has imposed a $2.75 surcharge on single-occupancy for-hire vehicles trips beginning or ending in Manhattan below 96th Street, as well as a $.75-cent fee on all “pool” trips in the same zone. According to the state law that created the surcharges, $50 million of the revenue must go to an “outer-borough transportation account,” which, as the MTA revealed, is not solely reserved for mass transit [PDF].

That came as a surprise to some advocates, who expected the money funneled into the city’s plagued subways, buses, and railroads — even if the letter of the law allowed for exceptions.