The student news site of Baruch

The Ticker

The student news site of Baruch

The Ticker

The student news site of Baruch

The Ticker

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

MTA gives NYC marathon a run for its money for Verrazano Bridge crossing

Metropolitan Transportation Auth
Metropolitan Transportation Authority | Flickr

The New York City Marathon has been a beloved tradition that has grown steadily over the years. In 2023, the annually held race was the world’s largest marathon that year with 51,453 total finishers and was the third largest edition of the race in its 54-year-long history as reported by the New York Road Runner Media Center

At the start of the race, enthused runners flood the upper and lower tiers of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, effectively closing it down for the duration of the run. According to The New York Times, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority that operates the bridge has been quietly waging war against the organizers of the historic race for months 

The MTA has demanded roughly $750,000 a year to make up for the toll revenue that is lost when it closes the bridge off to vehicular traffic.

The MTA threatened to restrict usage of the bridge to a single tier if an agreement for payment is not made. CEO of New York Road Runners Rob Simmelkjaer wrote to Gov. Kathy Hochul in February in an attempt to fend off the transportation authority, arguing that the organization would have to limit the number of runners if its use of the bridge was restricted.

According to The New York Post, Simmelkjaer stated that the nonprofit, “which reported a total income of $100.2 million last fiscal year,” had already agreed to cover $200,000 in profits lost by the MTA due to the bridge’s closure for this year’s event. Despite this, the MTA continued to insist on 100% reimbursement of lost toll revenue.

As stated by The New York Times, the nonprofit derives the bulk of its fundraising from this single event. The profits help to fund several free running events throughout the rest of the year. The MTA’s efforts made over the past months would severely limit the New York Road Runners’ ability to organize such events in the future. 

In a statement on April 4, Hochul said that she had ordered the MTA to stand down and drop all efforts toward pursuing the lost toll revenue from the organization, asserting that “the marathon is an iconic symbol of New York City’s tenacity and resilience that unites communities across the five boroughs each fall.”

The Road Runners was not the only target of the transportation authority’s discontent. In March, the MTA began to target Bike New York, which runs the Five Boro Bike Tour and uses a deck of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge for the final leg of the tour into Staten Island. 

Similar to the pressure put on the Road Runners, the MTA told Bike New York that it would be unable to use the bridge unless it agreed to cover an unspecified number of forgone toll revenue, which would restrict the tour to only four city boroughs. 

It is not yet clear if Hochul’s statement forcing the MTA to back down applies to this organization as well.

View Comments (1)
More to Discover
Donate to The Ticker

Comments (1)

All The Ticker Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • D

    Dave FarmerApr 27, 2024 at 10:50 am

    Only in America. Money is way more important than people.