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MTA Bridges and Tunnels

  (Redirected from Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority)

The Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority, doing business as MTA Bridges and Tunnels, is an affiliate agency of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority that operates seven intrastate toll bridges and two tunnels in New York City. In terms of traffic volume, it is the largest bridge and tunnel toll agency in the United States, serving more than a million people each day and generating more than $1.9 billion in toll revenue annually as of 2017.[1]

MTA Bridges and Tunnels
Public benefit corporation
Founded New York State (1933)
Headquarters Randall's Island, Manhattan New York City
Area served
New York City
Key people

Cedrick T. Fulton, President

Charles Moerdler, Chair
Revenue US$ 1.9 billion (2017)[1]
US$546 million (2017)
Number of employees
Parent Metropolitan Transportation Authority



The seven bridges are:

The two tunnels are:

Seal of the TBTA


Originally named the Triborough Bridge Authority, the authority was created in 1933 as a public-benefit corporation by the New York State Legislature. It was tasked with completing construction of the Triborough Bridge, which had been started by New York City in 1929 but had stalled due to the Great Depression.

Under the chairmanship of Robert Moses, the agency grew in a series of mergers with four other agencies:

With the last merger in 1946, the authority was renamed the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority.

Generating millions of dollars in toll revenue annually, the TBTA easily became a powerful city agency as it was capable of funding large capital projects. From the 1940s to the 1960s, the TBTA built the Battery Tunnel Parking Garage, Jacob Riis Beach Parking Field, the New York Coliseum, and the East Side Airlines Terminal.[3]

Aside from toll crossings, one of the TBTA's most profitable properties was the New York Coliseum, an office building and convention center at Columbus Circle in Manhattan. The complex cost $35 million to build,[4] of which $26.5 million came from toll revenues collected by the TBTA.[5] The Coliseum, which became the New York City's major convention center, had a tax agreement with the city wherein the city government would collect a portion of the TBTA's revenue rather than collect taxes on the Coliseum property. Within the first ten years of the Coliseum's opening, the city had collected almost $9.1 million from the TBTA.[6] This special tax arrangement continued until the property was sold in 1998.[7]

Merger with MTAEdit

Headquarters on Randall's Island

In January 1966, New York City Mayor John Lindsay proposed merging the New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA), which operated buses and subways in New York City, with the TBTA to create the Metropolitan Commuter Transit Authority (MCTA).[8] While Governor Nelson Rockefeller offered his "complete support" for Lindsay's proposed unified transit agency,[9] Robert Moses called the proposed merger "absurd" and "grotesque" for its unwieldiness.[10] Lindsay then proposed a bill in the state legislature that would allow the mayor to appoint a majority of the members in the new city-run transportation agency, but this was rejected.[11]:229 In June 1966, Rockefeller announced his plans to expand the MCTA's scope to create a new regional transit authority to encompass the existing MCTA, as well as the NYCTA and TBTA.[12] Lindsay disagreed, saying that the state and city should have operationally separate transit authorities that worked in tandem.[13] In early 1967, Rockefeller proposed merging the NYCTA and TBTA into the MCTA, as well as creating a $2.5 billion bond issue to fund transportation improvements.[11]:231 On May 3, 1967, Rockefeller signed a bill that allowed the MCTA to oversee the mass transit policies of New York City-area transit systems and the TBTA by the following March.[14]

Initially, the TBTA was resistant to the MCTA's efforts to acquire it.[15] Moses was afraid that the enlarged MCTA would "undermine, destroy or tarnish" the integrity of the TBTA,[16] One source of contention was Rockefeller's proposal to use TBTA tolls in order to subsidize the cheap fares of the NYCTA, since Moses strongly opposed any use of TBTA tolls for use by outside agencies.[17] Moses agreed to merge the TBTA into the MCTA in March 1967, and he even campaigned in favor of the transit bond issue.[11]:231 In February 1968, the TBTA's bondholders finally acquiesced to the MCTA's merger proposal.[15]

On March 1, 1968, the MCTA dropped the word "Commuter" from its name and became the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). The MTA took over the operations of the other New York City-area transit systems as well as the TBTA.[18][19] Moses was relieved from his job as chairman of the TBTA, although he was retained as a consultant.[19] Moses stated that TBTA construction projects would reduce the MTA's budget surplus through 1970.[20] Surplus revenue, formerly used for new automobile projects, was then used to support public transportation. [21]

Since the merger, more than $10 billion has been contributed by the TBTA to subsidize mass transit fares and capital improvements for the New York City Transit, Long Island Rail Road, and Metro-North Railroad. The MTA Bridges and Tunnels trading name was adopted in 1994.[22] The name Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority is still the legal name of the Authority and was used publicly between 1946 and 1994.

Law enforcementEdit

The Authority has some 525 Bridge and Tunnel Officers who are New York State peace officers with limited authority to make arrests and carry firearms to patrol the Authority's nine facilities.[citation needed] to patrol the Authority's nine facilities. In addition about 150 New York State Police and New York National Guard are assigned to policing and counter-terrorism activities.[23]

Open-road tollingEdit

Since September 30, 2017, all MTA Bridges & Tunnels facilities have collected tolls through open-road cashless tolling.[24] Tollbooths previously in place have been dismantled, and drivers will no longer be able to pay cash at the crossings. Instead, cameras mounted onto new overhead gantries collect the tolls. While some are located where toll booths were previously located, others are located at the opposite ends of the facilities.[25][26] Drivers without E-ZPass will have a picture of their license plate taken, and the toll will be mailed to them. For E-ZPass users, sensors will detect their transponders wirelessly.[25][26]


  1. ^ a b "MTA Annual Disclosure Statement Update" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved March 12, 2018.
  2. ^ "The MTA Network". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved February 22, 2018.
  3. ^ Schwabe, Armode (July 12, 1954) "Seven-Month-Old Air Terminal Doing a Good Job for Just About Everyone" The New York Times
  4. ^ Gossett, Carl T. (April 29, 1956). "COLISEUM OPENED; CROWDS FLOCK IN TO SEE 3 EXHIBITS; High Officials Snip Ribbon in Center That Was Built at Cost of $35,000,000 MAYOR HAILS PROJECT 125,000 View Stamp, Photo and Motor Car Shows in the First-Day Rush 'Unequaled on Face of Globe' COLISEUM OPENED; CROWDS FLOCK IN Box Offices Busy at Once Moses Tells of Difficulties City Gain in Taxes Noted". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 13, 2018.
  5. ^ Knowles, Clayton (April 28, 1956). "BRIDGE REVENUES BUILT NEW CENTER; Loan Held to $9,500,000-- Rest of Construction Paid by Tolls and Income COST PUT AT 35 MILLION Agency Will Liquidate Notes Next Year and Cancel Out All Its Debt by 1969". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 14, 2018.
  6. ^ "City Collects $9,096,000 From Coliseum In Lieu Of Taxes" (PDF). Ridgewood Times. July 27, 1967. p. 9. Retrieved February 14, 2017 – via
  7. ^ Bagli, Charles V. (July 30, 1998). "Sale of Coliseum Site Receives Approval". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 13, 2018.
  8. ^ "ALBANY IS WARM TO TRANSIT UNITY; Leaders Indicate Readiness to Weigh Lindsay Plan". The New York Times. 1966. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  9. ^ "GOVERNOR BACKS MAYOR ON TRANSIT; Support on Legislation for Unification Is Assured". The New York Times. February 9, 1966. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  10. ^ "Moses Scores a Transit Merger as Unworkable". The New York Times. 1967. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  11. ^ a b c Danielson, M.N.; Doig, J.W. (1982). New York: The Politics of Urban Regional Development. Lane Studies in Regional Government. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-90689-1. Retrieved February 10, 2018.
  12. ^ "ROCKEFELLER SEEKS REGIONAL AGENCY TO DIRECT TRANSIT; It Would Include Subway and Bridge Authorities and L.I. Rail Road BILL UNDER STUDY NOW Commuter Organization for Metropolitan Area May Get More Powers ROCKEFELLER SEEKS MASS TRANSIT UNIT". The New York Times. June 3, 1966. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  13. ^ "Lindsay Is Strongly Opposed To State Transit Proposal". The New York Times. June 4, 1966. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  14. ^ "GOVERNOR SIGNS 2D TRANSIT BILL; Unification Measure Names Agency to Head Operation". The New York Times. May 3, 1967. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  15. ^ a b "TRIBOROUGH PACT ENDS LAST BLOCK TO TRANSIT UNITY; Superagency Will Control Authority, but Is Curbed on Transfer of Funds TRIBOROUGH PACT REACHED IN TALKS". The New York Times. February 10, 1968. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  16. ^ "MOSES CAUTIONS NEW AUTHORITY; Praises Triborough Bridge Operations in Final Report". The New York Times. February 19, 1968. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  17. ^ "TRIBOROUGH FUNDS ARE AGAIN SOUGHT TO SAVE 20C FARE; Governor and Mayor Study Way to Include Authority in Metropolitan Program AID TO LINDSAY IS AN AIM Move Would Avoid Another Fare Rise Before Election No Comment by Moses TRIBOROUGH AID ON FARE REVIVED". The New York Times. February 28, 1967. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  18. ^ Penner, Larry (July 15, 2014). "Happy 51st Birthday To Queens Public Transportation". Queens Gazette. Archived from the original on September 12, 2015. Retrieved November 1, 2015.
  19. ^ a b "M.T.A. TAKES OVER TRANSIT NETWORK; Moses Will Be Kept On as Consultant to Agency". The New York Times. March 2, 1968. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  20. ^ "Moses Says Triborough Projects Will Absorb Surpluses Until '69". The New York Times. March 31, 1967. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  21. ^ Roberts, Sam (July 11, 2006), "Reappraising a Landmark Bridge, and the Visionary Behind It", The New York Times, retrieved October 9, 2007
  22. ^ McKinley, James C, Jr. (August 28, 1994), "What's in a Symbol? A Lot, the M.T.A. Is Betting", The New York Times, retrieved February 23, 2008
  23. ^ Staff (October 5, 2016) "Governor Cuomo Announces Transformational Plan to Reimagine New York’s Bridges and Tunnels for 21st Century" (press release) New York State: Governor Andrew M. Cuomo website
  24. ^ Castillo, Alfonso A. (October 2, 2017). "Cashless tolling arrives at all MTA bridges". Newsday. Retrieved February 16, 2018.
  25. ^ a b Siff, Andrew (October 5, 2016). "Automatic Tolls to Replace Gates at 9 NYC Spans: Cuomo". NBC New York. Retrieved December 25, 2016.
  26. ^ a b Staff (December 21, 2016). "MTA rolls out cashless toll schedule for bridges, tunnels". ABC7 New York. Retrieved December 25, 2016.

External linksEdit