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Port Authority Wants Toll Hikes, Fare Increases

Friday, August 05, 2011

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is seeking steep toll and fare increases starting in September.

The authority wants to raise tolls at its crossings — which include the George Washington Bridge and the Hudson River Tunnels — from $6 to $10 during off-peak travel, and $8 to $12 during peak travel hours, for E-Z Pass users. Cash payments would cost an extra $3.

According to the Port Authority's plan, these fares would rise again, by another $2, in 2014.

PATH riders will also be hit hard, with base fares rising from $1.75 to $2.75, making the base fare higher than the base fare for the New York City subway.

The Authority says it needs the money to make up for lost revenue due to the recession and the cost of upgrading infrastructure and rebuilding — and securing —  the World Trade Center site.

Both New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie — who jointly control the agency — said they have "obvious and significant concerns."

"The Port Authority is facing financial issues but so are families in the states of New York and New Jersey, and the answer cannot always be an indiscriminate and exorbitant increase in the taxpayer, or in this case, the toll payer," they said, in a joint statement on Friday.

Kate Slevin, executive director of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, suggested the Port Authority scale back its proposal, in a statement issued following the authority's announcement. She also charged that both Christie and Cuomo "want to use the Port Authority as a piggy bank," by diverting some of its funds to pay for other transportation projects in their states.

The Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters, the New York Building Congress, the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York and the Partnership for New York City all released statements supporting the Port Authority's proposal, and its plans to invest in and upgrade its infrastructure.

AAA New York was surprised by the proposal. Spokesman Robert Sinclair, Jr. called it outrageous.

"Motorists are already unfairly burdened, by taxes, fees, surcharges, tolls...and a lot of that money goes to projects unrelated to motorists," Sinclair, Jr. said.

Notice of the Port Authority's intention to raise tolls and fares came late on Friday afternoon, by press release.

The agency's board may approve the increases as soon as its next meeting, on August 19. Nine public hearings have been scheduled in New York and New Jersey prior to that date, to seek comment.

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Comments [11]

ChanMett from Long Island City

Unbelievable..... ASK THE TOP HONCHOS of PORT AUTHORITY TO TAKE A 10% CUT IN THEIR FAT PAYCHECKS. I DO NOT WANT THE HARDWORKING PEOPLE AT THE LOWER LEVEL TO TAKE ANY KIND OF HIT BUT LOOK INTO THEIR BENEFITS AND TRY TO TRIM SOME AT LEAST FOR NOW. BUT THE TOP PEOPLE SHOULD VOLUNTARILY CUT THEIR SALARIES, BONUSES AND BENEFITS......

Aug. 16 2011 12:39 PM
ChanMett from Long Island City

Unbelievable..... ASK THE TOP HONCHOS of PORT AUTHORITY TO TAKE A 10% CUT IN THEIR FAT PAYCHECKS. I DO NOT WANT THE HARDWORKING PEOPLE AT THE LOWER LEVEL TO TAKE ANY KIND OF HIT BUT LOOK INTO THEIR BENEFITS AND TRY TO TRIM SOME AT LEAST FOR NOW. BUT THE TOP PEOPLE SHOULD VOLUNTARILY CUT THEIR SALARIES, BONUSES AND BENEFITS......

Aug. 16 2011 12:38 PM
bigrob

The tolls keep going up and then scheduled to go up another $2. The people will leave from these outrageous shakedowns on the working class in New York. Governor Coumo and Christie knew in advance if the proposal. So everbody should protest there!!!

Aug. 08 2011 09:26 PM
SAY NO TO TOLL HIKE

in order to try to stop the proposed toll hikes, there has beed a facebook page created for the benefit of all. Please like the page, forward to friends and family and hopefully we will be heared. Enough is Enough, just saying we gotta do something is not enough we got to actually do something. go to "say no to port authority toll hikes" http://www.facebook.com/pa​ges/Say-NO-to-Port-Authori​ty-toll-hike/2544457779177​24.

Aug. 08 2011 01:04 AM
SAVD from Broad Channel

ENOUGH. Government on all levels, utilities, creditors, you name it, they all need to get their hands out of our pockets. The congress is too busy trying to prove that DC really is Hollywood for the ugly, by posing and putting on a show. WHAT ARE THEY DOING TO EARN THEIR PAY, TAKING A MONTH LONG VACATION?? I have been looking for a second job, to no avail and pretty soon I'll be forced out of the city. They should be doing things to stimulate the economy, which would have the net-effect of providing more tax payers and generating more revenue, not destroy our credit with their games and then congratulating themselves for a sub-standard effort.

Delusional. These proposed toll hikes are outrageous. I hear from my European colleagues that we are taxed more in the US than any other country in the world and yet every municipality is crying poverty. What are they doing with our money????? Let's revisit welfare reform by assessing the value of ALL of our elected officials.

UNACCEPTABLE.

Aug. 06 2011 04:41 PM
all affected

Well if this dnt wake up people in the area nothing will. I'M SICK AND TIRED OF BEING THE BURDEN OF THE PEOPLE WE PUT IN POWER. TAKE TAKE TAKE FROM PEOPLE WHO DO NOT HAVE. MY FELLOW PEOPLE LOOKS LIKE ANARCHY IS CLOSING IN!!!!!!!

Aug. 06 2011 09:55 AM
gar from nj

I also feel that if the WTC cannot pay for itself commercially it has no business being built. Showing off that we can do something works when we have lots of money in the bank. It certainly doesn't when we are deep in debt. Stop the construction. Keep the tolls where they are. If and when we pay our national and regional bills we can revisit the WTC construction.

Aug. 06 2011 08:52 AM
John Jackson from NJ

OK Tea Party and Republicans, get to work keeping spending and new "taxes" down. Let's live within our means and that means no new spending. We should only pay enough to maintain the GWB with GWB tolls, not support other projects. Let's pay for what we use, NO MORE! If they raise the tolls, pay it in pennies - LOTS OF THEM. SHUT THE BRIDGE DOWN UNTIL THE TOLLS COME DOWN. COME TO THE PUBLIC MEETINGS. THIS WILL COST YOU THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS OVER YOUR LIFETIME. DON'T LET IT HAPPEN. LET CHRISTIE KNOW HIS JOB IS ON THE LINE.

Aug. 06 2011 02:19 AM
Bruce in Jersey from Cherry Hill, NJ

As an infrequent visitor to New York City, this won't affect me much personally - but wow, it sure looks like you folks up North are getting hosed! Down here we're paying $5 for the major Delaware River bridges into Philadelphia. In California, the toll on the Golden Gate Bridge (which is 700 feet longer than the GWB) is $6 - five bucks with the local EZ-Pass equivalent, and no announced plans to raise it. Seems to me NY-area drivers have a right to be angry about the PA's plans.

Blaming it on the World Trade Center redevelopment is no answer. If the reconstructed WTC can't pay for itself, then it made no commercial sense to rebuild it. Pretty stupid if it was just done to "show" the Jihadists they can't knock America (or its buildings) down. But then, bin Laden achieved a big victory by driving us so crazy our government embarked on $3 trillion worth of ill-conceived and badly run wars. So why shouldn't a building boondoggle be another part of his legacy?

Aug. 05 2011 07:48 PM
Bruce in Jersey from Cherry Hill, NJ

As an infrequent visitor to New York City, this won't affect me much personally - but wow, it sure looks like you folks up North are getting hosed! Down here we're paying $5 for the major Delaware River bridges into Philadelphia. In California, the toll on the Golden Gate Bridge (which is 700 feet longer than the GWB) is $6 - five bucks with the local EZ-Pass equivalent, and no announced plans to raise it. Seems to me NY-area drivers have a right to be angry about the PA's plans.

Blaming it on the World Trade Center redevelopment is no answer. If the reconstructed WTC can't pay for itself, then it made no commercial sense to rebuild it. Pretty stupid if it was just done to "show" the Jihadists they can't knock America (or its buildings) down. But then, bin Laden achieved a big victory by driving us so crazy our government embarked on $3 trillion worth of ill-conceived and badly run wars. So why shouldn't a building boondoggle be another part of his legacy?

Aug. 05 2011 07:42 PM
Jonathan from Bergen County, NJ

No! If there were ever a time for mass demonstrations and civil disobedience, should this toll hike go through, this is it. Let's show up for the community meetings and let the Authority hear, "No!" Shame on the building unions. Shame.

Aug. 05 2011 07:05 PM

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