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Axed bridge tolls lost $31 billion, says former traffic commish

Williamsburg Bridge toll

Williamsburg Bridge toll Credit: Marc Beja

A hundreds years to the day tolls were dropped on East River bridges, former traffic commissioner “Gridlock” Sam Schwartz “lamented” that long-ago decision.

Schwartz said that if the 10-cent automobile tax hadn’t been axed in 1911, the city could have made $31 billion, after adjusting for inflation, which could have been used to maintain bridges and pay for extra subway lines.

“They should have never taken the tolls away,” he said. “It was a mistake.”

On Tuesday, the NYC Bridge Centennial Commission erected a mock tollbooth at the Williamsburg Bridge, and antique cars were charged a dime to drive through.

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