AAA Wants Toll Hikes Stopped
Thursday, September 15, 2011 - 02:19 PM
The AAA motorists' group is asking the U.S. Department of Transportation to block this weekend's toll increase on bridges and tunnels owned by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
Starting Sunday at 3 a.m., cash tolls at the bridges and tunnels will rise from $8 to $12 for people paying by cash. EZ Pass holders will see the toll increase by $1.50. Starting in December 2012, tolls will then rise $0.75 a year for four years.
The AAA said the increase violates a federal law that requires that tolls be "just and reasonable." They argue the tolls hikes are unreasonable because much of the money will go toward building the new World Trade Center, which has nothing to do with the Port Authority's original transportation mission.
"It's an egregious example of the motorists getting ripped off," AAA New York spokesman Robert Sinclair said. The group said it may also sue the authority in order to block the toll hike.
The Department of Transportation said Secretary Ray LaHood would respond directly to the AAA. It gave no immediate comment.
The Port Authority did not immediately respond to calls for comment on the matter.
In calling for the increase the Port Authority said, in addition to completing the World Trade Center side, the hikes would fund a capital investment plan to repair and replace "an aging transportation infrastructure."
Last month, following the direction of Governors Andrew Cuomo and Chris Christie, the Port Authority approved toll hikes and fare increases.
With the Associated Press