By Paul Moses
(Professor of Journalism, Brooklyn College)
It is looking increasingly as if Sen. Malcolm Smith will give in and allow tolls on the East River bridges -- provided the misery is spread to taxi riders, who would have to pay a $1 surcharge.
Everyone acts as if there is no way out. These folks should look at recommendations by City Comptroller Bill Thompson. (Read Thompson's "Putting the Brakes on the Bus and Subway Fare: Options for Eliminating Fare Increases.")
As the Comptroller indicates, there is an unfair formula used to allocate the money now being collected from bridge and tunnel tolls - it benefits the suburbs. And, as he indicates, both the city and state have reduced the funding once provided for mass transit - hence the need for a fare increase. Thompson is too politic to say it, but perhaps the Staten Island ferry should not be a free ride, either.
There are a lot of ways to solve this problem. Why does it always come back to charging people money to enter Brooklyn?