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NY governor says tolls for new bridge are too high

Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to scale back his administration's proposal to nearly triple the toll on the Tappan Zee Bridge. WAMC’s Dave Lucas reports.

In a letter to the state Thruway Authority, the governor calls for a task force to find ways to reduce the increase by 2017, when the bridge is expected to be finished.

The current toll is $5.

Cuomo's top staffers presented a plan last week to raise the toll to $14 to pay for a $5.2 billion replacement of the aging bridge. Many regular users reacted unhappily.

In Friday's letter, the governor says the task force should find ways to maximize federal support and to lower the cost of borrowing.

He also suggests expanded discount programs for residents of Rockland and Westchester counties, which are connected by the bridge.

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Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.