Toll collection at the Margate causeway has been suspended through 6 p.m. Saturday, Atlantic County Freeholder Alex Marino said Thursday night.
Marino had gotten in touch with Downbeach Express owner Roger Hansen after hearing complaints about the tolls being charged after access to the city was opened Thursday.
“He has reached out to his toll collectors and told them to immediately cease tolls,” Marino said. “They should not have been collected in the first place.”
Owner Jennifer Hansen said Thursday night that the money collected Thursday will be donated to the Red Cross.
Incoming Margate residents were surprised to see that Ole Hansen & Sons, the company that owns the Downbeach Express — commonly known as the Margate causeway and the one access point to the city from the mainland — was still charging its $1.50 cash tolls Thursday afternoon.
“It stinks that they’re charging tolls when people are just trying to get back to their belongings,” said Margate resident Teresa Barone. “But I understand that they sustained a lot of damage too. ... That’s our causeway, and we have to support it.”
“They lost a lot of income as well,” added Stephanie Wakefield. “I’m sure they have to make repairs.”
Fellow resident Jeff Weinrich, however, called the charging of tolls was “in bad taste.”
“They did lose a week’s worth of tolls,” he said. But not charging “would have been a nice gesture. A ‘welcome back.’”
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