This past Friday, the Port Authority released its plans to increase bridge & tunnel tolls along with the fare of PATH trains. The plan calls for a 33% increase in tolls for drivers driving from New Jersey to New York. Their plan would see the rush hour costs on its six bridges & tunnels that link New York & New Jersey rise to $8. Their plan calls for PATH fares to go from $1.5o to $2.00. They said the increase is needed to help build a train tunnel to encourage mass transit use & environmentally friendly driving. Here is a full article about the plan courtesy of Newsday:
Transit officials unveiled a widely anticipated plan to increase tolls by 33 percent for drivers going from New Jersey to New York, saying the proposal will help build a crucial train tunnel and encourage mass transit and environmentally friendly driving.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns six bridges and tunnels linking New Jersey to New York City, wants to raise rush-hour tolls on the crossings from $6 to $8, and increase fares on PATH commuter trains from $1.50 to $2.
More than 120 million drivers cross Port Authority bridges and tunnels from New Jersey to New York City each year, and about 227,000 passengers take PATH trains every day.
The increases would take effect next year if approved; public hearings are planned first.
The agency’s executive director, Anthony Shorris, said the first toll increases since 2001 would fund billions of dollars in capital plans, from stabilizing bridges to rebuilding the World Trade Center site.
But the agency that has always taken in more revenue from cars seemed focused on train travel, upping its commitment from $2 billion to $3 billion for a second tunnel taking rail commuters under the Hudson River between the states. Shorris said the agency’s commitment to the tunnel, which would accommodate NJ Transit and Amtrak trains, should trigger federal funding of the $7.5 billion connection.
An updated, 10-year capital plan budgeted more than $3 billion to revamp the underused PATH train lines, lengthen platforms, buy new cars and boost security measures like baggage checks on trains.
“The … biggest threat to our region is whether we can manage growth,” said Shorris, who expected some toll increases would move motorists onto public transportation, while others might decide to drive during less congested times.
The proposal would charge motorists $8 during rush hours – even for E-ZPass users who currently get discounts at all times – at the Lincoln and Holland tunnels and bridges including the George Washington, Goethals, Bayonne and Outerbridge Crossing. The peak hours include a period from noon to 8 p.m. on the weekends. Truck and bus prices would vary, depending on the size of the vehicle.
E-ZPass drivers would pay $6 during less congested times; drivers using low-emission, environmentally friendly vehicles would pay only $4 off-peak, an incentive the Port Authority hoped would help it reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 5 percent next year.
Drivers would end up having to subsidize mass transit and rebuilding projects if the hike passes, said Stephen Carrellas, New Jersey’s coordinator for the National Motorists’ Association.
I bet many drivers who thumb their noses at mass transit must be pissed!
xoxo Transit Blogger