For four years, one man thought he was getting away with it: Mostly using the RFK and Bronx Whitestone bridges, and never paying the tolls and ignoring hundreds of notices from the MTA.
He could have gotten an E-ZPass and played by the rules, but he didn't. On Friday, his streak ended, and the agency finally caught up to him.
"You go across the bridge, you pay a toll you go through a tunnel you pay a toll," said MTA's acting head of communications, Tim Minton. "The plumbers, the firefighters the nurses grocery workers — all of those people should pay the toll but you feel you shouldn’t have to pay.
MTA bridge and tunnel officers towed away a Nissan Altima off the Hutchinson River Parkway near the Bronx Whitestone Bridge. Its owner, they claim, is one of the agency’s top toll violators.
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"This guy was sent over 400 notices and the last 398 of them said we’re adding the fees we’re suspending your registration you better not be driving over the bridges and he kept doing it," Minton said.
And kept doing it is right: More than 500 times, not paying the toll bills and ignoring those notices. MTA officials saying the toll-dodger himself unfortunately wasn’t even in the car Friday when it was finally stopped, but rather it was occupied by his family.
But he’s now charged with driving with a suspended registration and has an Oct. 21st court date.
"In the end, he’s got toll plus fees — over $50,000 is what he owes the people of the state of New York and we have his car," Minton said.
But the MTA said it’s just keeping it’s promise to this driver — and others who choose not to pay time after time.
"Sooner or later, if they keep doing it, they’re going to get stopped and the car is going to be taken if their registration has been suspended," Minton said. " We’re gonna get the money, it’s very simple."
Since 2017, the MTA agency has given out 31,000 summonses for obstructed or covered license plates, and impounded more than 5,000 vehicles of people who’ve repeatedly not paid their tolls.
This story has been updated to clarify that the suspect had an allegedly suspended registration.