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Staten Island prez slams MTA plan to charge NYC Marathon $750K toll

A Staten Island pol has ripped the MTA for demanding New York City Marathon organizers fork over $750,000 to cover the cost of toll revenue lost during the race, insisting to The Post Wednesday: “They can find that money in nine hours.”

Borough President Vito Fossella slammed the transit agency after it was revealed the MTA is threatening to restrict the use of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to runners if New York Road Runners doesn’t cough up the extra cash.

“It’s the wrong race to run,” Fossella griped.

“We lose $700 million a year to fare and toll evasion. They can find that money in nine hours if they enforce the law.”

As the negotiations continue, the MTA has warned New York Road Runners that racegoers will only be able to use either the upper or lower level of the bridge — not both — if the toll money isn’t paid up.


Staten Island Borough President Vito Fossella
Staten Island Borough President Vito Fossella slammed the MTA Wednesday after it was revealed its threatening to restrict the use of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge for the NYC Marathon. Brigitte Stelzer

The non-profit, though, has insisted they will have to likely restrict the number of entries for the iconic event if runners are banned from using both levels.

The 26.2 mile race, which kicks off on Staten Island and is expected to draw 50,000 entrants this year, has used both decks of the bridge for the past 36 years.

“The NY Marathon is of the most iconic races in the world,” Fossella said. “I don’t know how many ten of millions of dollars in economic activity it brings to the city. We should be encouraging people to come to the city and spend money.” 

“Nothing surprises me anymore with the MTA,” the borough prez added.


Marathon runners cross the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge
The MTA is demanding New York City Marathon organizers fork over $750,000 to cover the cost of toll revenue lost during the race due to the closure of the bridge. REUTERS

New York Road Runners CEO Rob Simmelkjaer has claimed the organization has already agreed to boost what it pays the MTA to partly cover the bridge’s closure for this year’s race — but the MTA is playing hardball.

“We have agreed to increase payments to the MTA in the form of both direct payments and the purchase of advertising on subways and buses,” Simmelkjaer wrote to Gov. Kathy Hocul in February begging her to step in.

“The MTA has made few concessions in these negotiations, however, and continues to insist on 100% reimbursement of lost toll revenue.”

The MTA, however, has argued Big Apple taxpayers shouldn’t be footing the bill for a “wealthy” non-profit, which reported a total income of $100.2 million for fiscal year 2023.

“New Yorkers love Marathon Sunday, but taxpayers cannot be expected to subsidize a wealthy nongovernment organization like the New York Road Runners to the tune of $750,000,” Catherine Sheridan, the president of MTA Bridges and Tunnels, said in a statement. 

“The MTA is prepared to continue working toward a final agreement with the NYRR, provided it leads, over time, to full reimbursement for the lost revenue.”

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