Assemblyman Michael A. Montesano (R,I,C-Glen Head) is supporting the American Automobile Association’s (AAA) recent criticism of toll increases at Port Authority bridges and tunnels. Specifically, the drivers’ advocacy organization has called for all revenues collected from toll increases be placed in a dedicated fund for infrastructure repair and maintenance. Montesano is calling for legislative action to prevent these dollars from going anywhere other than infrastructure. According to reports, the revenues gathered through this Port Authority toll increase are going to fund other projects besides the necessary maintenance of bridges and tunnels – vital lifelines for commuters to and from work.
“I am not convinced that there is a need for any toll increases,” said Montesano. “The Port Authority can look internally to cut wasteful spending while still providing quality services and safe transportation infrastructure. The economy is putting every family on a tighter budget and asking for an increase in their already high cost of living is not only detrimental, it is downright disgraceful. These families work hard and help to keep this economy moving, but the Port Authority is making it more difficult for them to maintain their standard of living.
“Unless these toll increases are going to repair the damaged and aging infrastructure that carries hardworking families around, I am going to call for action at the national level to prevent further monetary damages to the people of this community,” said Montesano. “Any outside projects should be funded through state or federal dollars, not the commuters of New York City, Long Island and New Jersey. There should be a greater concern for the safety of commuters, not for funding outside projects. I stand firmly with AAA to prevent the incomes of hardworking New Yorkers from going anywhere but infrastructure maintenance and repair.”