NY/NJ Port Authority seeks toll hikes of more than 50%

Drivers who cross the Hudson River into Manhattan on bridges — including the George Washington Bridge — and via tunnels and PATH could be hit with the largest-ever toll and fare increase next month, according to a plan announced by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey last Friday, according the Fort Lee New Jersey Patch reported

Drivers who cross the Hudson River into Manhattan on bridges — including the George Washington Bridge — and via tunnels and PATH could be hit with the largest-ever toll and fare increase next month, according to a plan announced by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey last Friday, according the Fort Lee New Jersey Patch reported.

The plan calls for rising tolls for E-ZPass drivers from $6 to $10 during off-peak hours and from $8 to $12 during peak hours, beginning in September. An additional $2 increase would be tacked on in 2014, doubling off-peak E-ZPass fares over the three-year period.

In addition, PATH fares would also increase from $1.75 to $2.75 under the plan.

In unveiling the plans Friday, the Port Authority said it was faced with three unprecedented challenges at once: a recession “that has sharply decreased revenue below projections,” nearly threefold increases in post-9/11 security costs and the cost of rebuilding the WTC; and “the need for the largest overhaul of facilities in the agency’s 90-year history,” according to the Patch report.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who could veto the plan, issued a joint statement Friday, expressing “obvious and significant concerns."

The Port Authority will vote on the unprecedented toll and fare hikes on Aug. 19 after hearings in both states.

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