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American Shipper

New York-New Jersey bridge, tunnel hikes approved

New York-New Jersey bridge, tunnel hikes approved

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's board of commissioners voted today to hike fares on its bridges and tunnels, effective March 2.

   Tolls for automobile drivers using E-ZPass on the port authority’s two tunnels and four bi-state bridges will increase from $4 to $6 for off-peak travel and from $5 to $8 in peak hours, providing a greater incentive for off-peak travel. Cash tolls will increase from $6 to $8.

   Similar increases will apply to trucks, but vary depending on the number of axles and payment method. This toll adjustment plan includes future adjustments based on increases to the Regional Consumer Price Index.

   In addition, tunnel and bridge customers who use qualifying low-emission vehicles will be eligible to register that vehicle for the Port Authority GreenPass Plan, which will offer a $4 E-ZPass off-peak toll rate — no increase above the current off-peak rate.

   The agency said the increases will pay for escalating security costs and nearly $30 billion in capital investments to promote mass transit, maintain its existing facilities in a state of good repair and ease congestion.

   Riders of the agency’s PATH commuter railroad will see cash fares increase from $1.50 to $1.75 instead of $2.00 as the agency originally planned. There are discounts for commuters who buy tickets in bulk.

   The bi-state agency said the increase in bridge and tunnel tolls and PATH fares will allow the agency to proceed with an ambitious $29.5 billion, 10-year capital plan, which includes:

   ' $3 billion for a new Hudson River passenger rail tunnel.

   ' $3.3 billion to overhaul and modernize the PATH system.

   ' $8.4 billion to rebuild the World Trade Center site.

   ' $4 billion to keep bridges and tunnels in a state of good repair.

   ' $3.1 billion to expand, modernize and enhance security at JFK and LaGuardia airports.

   The plan also will provide the necessary resources to fund $650 million in annual security costs.

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