NY Lawmaker Argues Against Proposed Port Authority Hike On Bridges And Tunnels

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Port Authority’s proposal for a massive $1 billion hike on tolls and train fares now has political opposition.

New York State Senator Charles Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick), called on the Port Authority Board of Commissioners, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and Gov. Chris Christie to reject the plan.

1010 WINS’ Terry Sheridan reports: Politicians Lash Out Against Toll Hikes

“The Port Authority’s proposal to dramatically raise tolls is both absurd and insulting to the overburdened residents and businesses who will be forced to pay substantially more to use the bridges and tunnels,” Fuschillo said in a statement released Saturday. “New Yorkers and New Jerseyans pay enough in taxes and fees. At a time when so many families and businesses are still struggling to make ends meet, we shouldn’t be forcing them pay higher fees to travel to work, visit a loved one, or conduct business.”

“Under the Port Authority’s proposal, drivers with E-Z Pass are facing a fifty percent increase in round-trip tolls to use the George Washington Bridge, the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels, and the bridges connecting Staten Island and New Jersey. Roundtrip truck tolls per axle would increase by nearly 100 percent. In both cases, these tolls would increase again in 2014,” he added.

WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane Along Route 4

The Port Authority warned that without the hikes, completion of the World Trade Center and key upgrades at area bridges and airports might not happen.

The hikes include the following:

  • Tolls for cars using E-ZPass on the Port Authority’s crossings would increase from $6 to $10 roundtrip for off-peak travel and from $8 to $12 in peak hours. An additional $2 increase during peak and off-peak hours will be implemented in 2014.
  • A cash toll surcharge of $3 to increase the cash rate from $8 to $15 in 2011 for the 25 percent of toll-payers who still use the cash system. The surcharge is expected to increase the E-ZPass market share to approximately 85 percent, which will reduce travel delays during the peak of traffic congestion by 10-20 minutes.  The surcharge will increase by an additional $2 in 2014.
  • Truck tolls per axle using E-ZPass off-peak would increase from $7 to $13 roundtrip and peak from $8 to $14, with an additional $2 per-axle-increase in 2014 for both off-peak and peak hours.  A similar cash surcharge of $3 per axle will be applied to trucks in 2011 that continue to use the optional cash system with an additional $2 per axle in 2014.
  • There will be no toll increase on trucks who cross during the overnight discount period and we will expand this overnight period an extra two hours each weekday night from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m (previously 12 a.m. to 6 a.m.).  This will result in a 61% discount for a typical two-axle truck which will continue to pay $11 overnight as compared to the $28  toll in 2011 for the same truck using E-ZPass during the peak period.
  • Fully preserving the Staten Island Bridge Discount Plan for E-ZPass users, giving the frequent users a 50 percent toll discount on the peak E-ZPass toll.  In addition, qualified energy efficient vehicles with GreenPasses will see no toll increase during off-peak hours in 2011, and the car-poolers discount rate is preserved in 2011 with a 50 percent discount off the E-ZPass peak hour rate.  Both GreenPasses and carpoolers would see a $2 increase in 2014.

LINK: For Complete Details Of The Port Authority’s Proposals, Click Here

In arguing against the proposal, Fuschillo noted that “New York State once again led the country in the percentage of people leaving for other states; New York State’s business tax climate was ranked the worst in the nation; and New Jersey and New York have the two highest state-local tax burdens in the country.”

“These increases will raise costs on families, hinder economic development, and raise the costs of doing businesses in a region which is expensive enough,” he said in a statement released Saturday,” he added.

What is your opinion on the Port Authority’s proposal? Sound off in the comments section below.

  • illandsick

    One day, they’ll put toll booth outside of your driveway, watch out!

  • Bill Laundry

    in order to try to stop the proposed toll hikes, there has beed a facebook page created for the benefit of all. Please like the page, forward to friends and family and hopefully we will be heared. Enough is Enough, just saying we gotta do something is not enough we got to actually do something. go to “say no to port authority toll hikes” http://www.facebook.com/pages/​Say-NO-to-Port-Authority-toll-​hike/25444577791772

  • Junior

    Hell no! Until they get their homes in order (MTA/PA, etc) no increases, They can and need to cut fat first, then raise if they need to.

  • pugphan

    We are the cash cows of these mofoes, and it’s time to cut them off. This is taxation without “Representation!” enuff already. Why can’t we have a one time yearly fee along with our registration fees, and eliminate all their freaking jobs, hence no more toll collectors or their supervisors and other bosses and their
    bloated salaries. smokersodysseycom

  • sharon wolff

    I fail to understand why a toll increase is necessary. Think about the amount of cars, buses, trucks and motorcycles that use these roads. Think about the money they each pay, whether it is peak or off peak. NOW think about the salaries of the executives involved, and the other workers. SOMEONE is pocketing the money, OR is awarding NO BID Contracts, OR is paying someone to look the other way. I hope BOTH CUOMO AND CHRISTIE veto this regardless of any amount increase these jerks want.IT AIN’T NECESSARY

  • edlo

    I guess moving out state is cheaper, you just don’t pay tolls…how about that ….hm?

    • Joe R

      NO TOLLS out of state?

      Welcome. Which planet DID you arrive from?

  • Walter Schwartz

    By 2025 these two states will have a 95% population on welfare or government jobs. Everone else will leave

  • CT

    Wow, a senator speaking for us. But, we can oppose & reject all we want, in the end the MTA & PA will get the hike they want. Maybe not all at once, but in small increments.

  • Kenny

    I think this just is better than the mob. They legally rob you without a gun. If the world trade center doesn’t have the funding to build it then don’t build it. Whenever there is a financial casualty with the government they always look for lower paid individuals to bail them out. How many of you remember that a parking ticket in NY was 55 dollars. As soon as the world trade center went down our glorious mayor decided to double the ticket price. That is completely absurd. But since nobody fought it here we are.

  • Z

    It’s a psychological ploy that is used often.

    they throw out a really high percentage and everyone goes bananas over it
    then they submit lower percentage and expect people to be relieved and willingly let it pass.

  • John Q

    Just another reason to get out of the metro area. This is an insane increase! If the trade center was so underfunded it should never have been rebuilt. Bet if they used non union labor it would have been nearly half the cost to build.

  • Starbuck

    What have they done with the billions they ave already collected, and will the increases go away when the Trade Center is completed? Politicians use the PA as a ‘cash cow’. When they need an excuse for more money it’s always for something people will go for– like improving/ maintaining the infrastructure. What they think, is that we don’t notice the money we pay them every day for just that maintenance.

  • Klatu

    Why does the Port Authority need money for the World Trade Center? That should be funded by private investors since its use is primarily as a business structure. The demand for such a price raise is nothing short of a ridiculous bargaining ploy that any sane person will ignore.

  • Pablo

    The Port Authority is using scare tactics that completion of the World Trade Center might not happen as a scare tactic to get what they want; when they know full well that those funds were allocated already; the audacity.

  • iggy

    the PA says it will raise the fares 50%. after all the fighting and wrangling, it will raise the fare 15% and everyone will be okay. it is like ” a nick here, and a nick there, and soon you’re bleeding to death.” and our little tyrant mayor says nothing because that is HIS method of operation since he took office.

  • Shrek

    Between the M.T.A. and P.A. we have two true mob families which are legal they spend money on themselves more than the public sees every year its the same b.s. from them we pay more tax to these two plus tolls its crazy .

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