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Port Authority Toll Hikes: What Do You Think?

Christie considering veto of proposed increases at crossings

A couple of weeks ago, I drove into New York to pick up a childhood friend who had taken a bus into the city for a visit. By the time I'd driven us down to Barnegat, then back into Manhattan for her trip home, then left the city myself, I'd spent enough on tolls and crossings to take us out to dinner. 

Sure, we have to pay for transportation. But the drive always leaves me with the same feeling of being squeezed simply for the privilege of sitting in traffic – and it could get worse.

Last week, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey proposed raising tolls by $4 next month on the George Washington Bridge and the Lincoln and Holland tunnels, and increasing fares on the PATH train by $1 and raise tolls on cars an additional $2 in 2014.

Reports say Gov. Chris Christie's reaction to the proposed hike was "You're kidding, right?"

But a veto isn't a sure bet. According to the Asbury Park Press' Bob Ingle, Christie has said blocking the toll hike could lead to stopped projects and lost jobs.

Others, like the authors of this editorial in the Star-Ledger, say Christie's jumping at the chance to act the hero with a prefab compromise.

And in a recent statement, pro-public transporation nonprofit the Tri-State Transportation Campaign said blame for the toll and fare increases can be laid directly at the governor's feet, saying he's been using the Port Authority as "a piggy bank."

What do you think? Would upping the cost of a ride into Manhattan curb your visits there? Is there a better way to fund transportation projects – like replacing our crumbling bridges and other infrastructure – beyond "sticking it to commuters"?

Tell us in the comments below.

Donald L. Carman August 09, 2011 at 05:41 PM
Let the Port Auth finance this need with bonds and reorganize to reduce costs
Alois C. Neuhaus August 10, 2011 at 06:49 PM
It's my understanding that the increased revenue is to replenish the dwindling funds in Transportation Trust Fund. They're also planning on increasing tolls on the Turnpike. How much of the trust fund money has been wasted on new sidewalks in shore towns and other projects which mean little to the general population of the state? Bonding means spending more of the taxpayers' money on interest. Why not bite the bullet and pay in advance by adding a few dollars on each motor vehicle registered? We all use the roads, bridges and tunnels at some point. By taking this avenue be spreading the cost around and lessening the burden on a small group of residents. Real shared responsiblity.

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