Dear Mr. Walder:
On behalf of the Queens Chamber of Commerce and our 1,200 member businesses and organizations, we join with Assembly member Audrey Pheffer and others in opposing the MTA’s decision to end the Resident Rebate Program for the Cross Bay Bridge.
While we can sympathize with your organization’s severe deficit situation, elimination of this program will have an adverse effect on the business communities of the Rockaways and the rest of the borough. At a time when the Rockaways is in the midst of an economic resurgence, the addition of an intra-borough tax on commerce between the peninsula and the rest of the borough is ill advised.
It is important that sacrifices and budget cuts be shared equally and it should be noted that the decision to end the Resident Rebate Program for the Cross Bay Bridge falls unfairly on the residents who count on this overpass to reach the mainland of Queens.
It affects commuters going to and from work, shoppers and consumers who frequent Queen’s businesses and businesses on the peninsula who rely on free passage to and from their company’s locations to keep costs lower to consumers and end users.
Mr. Walder, it is surprising that as a former resident of the Rockaways you would support this proposal. You should understand the difficulties connecting the Rockaways with the rest of Queens County. The financial impact on Queen’s commerce and economic vitality will far outweigh any revenues raised through this discriminatory fee.
We urge you to reconsider this decision and continue the Resident Rebate Program for the toll on the Cross Bay Bridge and not allow the MTA to eliminate this essential program.
Queens Chamber of Commerce