Tag Archives: E-Z Pass

Queens cabbie charged for stealing more than $28K in tolls


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo: Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Brian Mendonca

A Long Island City taxi driver has been busted for evading more than $28,000 in tolls by “piggybacking” on cars through Robert F. Kennedy Bridge E-Z Pass lanes.

The cabbie, 69-year-old Rodolfo Sanchez, is accused of crossing the bridge without paying the toll more than 3,000 times over a two-year period, between 2012 and 2010, District Attorney Richard Brown said.

Sanchez was able to avoid the tolls by tailgating the vehicle in front of his yellow cab and letting both cars go through the bridge’s E-Z Pass lanes before the barrier came down, the district attorney said.

He was eventually caught, according to Brown, when it was discovered that an E-Z Pass tag that was previously reported lost, was regularly crossing the bridge’s toll plazas without making a payment. The pass had become invalid in 2011 but it was still emitting a signal to the E-Z Pass readers on the bridge, he said.

Sanchez allegedly told investigators that he knew that the E-Z Pass was no good but he used it because he needed money for his family.

Sanchez was arraigned Thursday and charged with grand larceny, theft of services and criminal possession of stolen property, prosecutors said. He faces up to seven years in prison if convicted.

 

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Gov’s budget may slash Cross Bay Bridge toll


| mchan@queenscourier.com

The burden of paying the Cross Bay Bridge toll may soon be relieved for residents of Rockaway and Broad Channel.

A proposed toll discount program — under Governor Andrew Cuomo’s budget proposal — calls on the state and MTA to reimburse residents for E-Z Pass fees, $1.19 each way, paid for while traveling over the Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge.

Local elected officials and residents who pay the toll several times a day have long deemed the fare a problem, according to Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder.

Goldfeder — who has been a staunch advocate for a complete toll elimination — said 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.

“We have been advocating relentlessly to end the toll on the Cross Bay Bridge,” said Goldfeder. “From the many civic and community leaders who rallied, to the thousands of community members who signed our petition, we are one step closer to successfully eliminating this toll completely and lifting a significant financial burden off the shoulders of many hardworking families and businesses in Rockaway and Broad Channel.”