NEW YORK, N.Y. – In order to deal with various financial setbacks, including revenues lost in the recession and with investments, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey will be raising the fare for vehicles crossing the George Washington Bridge and traveling through the Lincoln and Holland tunnels.
Coach operators will be most affected and will see a 150% increase from $4 per bus to $10 per bus. Port Authority spokesman Ron Marsico said the amount, which applies to buses enrolled in the E-ZPass program, will climb each year until 2014, when the toll will be $13.
Officials said the toll increase also was needed to carry out various projects, including rebuilding the World Trade Center — which is expected to exceed the agency's $11 billion cost estimate; replacing the George Washington Bridge's 80-year-old suspension cables and reconstructing the Lincoln Tunnel's helix approach.
The Port Authority board's swift decision on the hikes last month angered commuters, who will see staggered increases.
For cars, the $8 toll during peak hours will climb to $9.50 on Sept. 18, then an additional 75 cents a year each December from 2012 to 2015. Off-peak tolls for cars will also jump by $1.50 to $7.50 this month.
Cars paying cash will be hit with an extra $2 penalty, with their tolls rounded up to the nearest whole dollar.
PATH fares, currently $1.75, will increase 25 cents annually over the next four years, starting next month.
Martin Robins, a former Port Authority official who was instrumental in the creation of NJ Transit in 1980, said he was surprised the toll hike was disproportionately higher for buses compared to cars.
Read the rest of the Port Authority toll increase article here.