Governor orders transit agency to drop bid to charge NYC Marathon $750K for use of Verrazzano bridge

NEW YORK (AP) — New York’s governor on Thursday ordered the state’s transit agency to drop efforts to impose a $750,000 fee on the New York City Marathon for using the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge.

Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul also encouraged the New York Road Runners, organizers of the venerable race held the first Sunday of each November, to find other ways to generate revenue for mass transit, such as purchasing advertising on public buses and trains.

“The marathon is an iconic symbol of New York City’s tenacity and resilience that unites communities across the five boroughs each fall,” she said in a statement. “I’ve directed the MTA to fix this mess and allow the marathon to move forward as it always has.”

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which oversees New York’s bridges and tunnels, declined to comment on the governor’s directive, while the the Road Runners said they “appreciate” the governor’s support.

The MTA has said the requested fee represented the estimated amount of toll revenue lost when the nation’s longest suspension bridge is closed for the 26.2-mile race, which is the largest marathon in the world with more than 50,000 participants annually.

The Road Runners have argued the MTA enjoys increased revenue from greater transit ridership during marathon week that “more than makes up” for any lost toll revenue from the bridge, which links the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Staten Island and is named after the first European explorer to sail into the New York Harbor.

The organization said the bridge fee would also have been on top of the payment the race already makes to the MTA cover overtime costs for transit staff, which totaled $150,000 last year.

Copyright © 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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