Utterly shameful

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It’s like adding insult to injury.

This past weekend, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) reinstated tolls at the Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge and the Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge.

After Sandy left the areas devastated, Governor Andrew Cuomo had the foresight – and heart – to suspend the fare, but apparently, officials feel a month is long enough to let responders, residents and volunteers travel for free.

It’s disgusting.

The fight to eliminate – permanently – this ludicrous toll is a long one.

The toll was free for residents of Broad Channel and the Rockaways for 12 years, but was reinstated by the MTA in 2010.

And though a residential rebate program is in effect, we feel it’s terrible that we have to pay to travel within our own borough.

Add to this the fact that the toll negatively affects an already sluggish local economy and places an inherently excessive financial burden on the residents and small businesses of southern Queens and Rockaway, and you have a recipe for disaster.

And now, those kind-hearted people who are giving of themselves to help storm-ravaged areas get back on their feet are expected to pay $3.25 cash or $1.80 with E-ZPass?!

It’s utterly shameful.

We say the toll should be eliminated once and for all. Consider it a part of rebuilding after Sandy.