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Gov. Christie On Planned Port Authority Toll Hike: ‘You’re Kidding, Right?’

Says He Plans To Meet With N.Y. Gov. Cuomo To See What Can Be Done
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Gov. Chris Christie appears at a bill signing - Barnegat, NJ - Aug 4, 2011 (credit: Tim Larsen / Governor's Office)

Gov. Chris Christie appears at a bill signing – Barnegat, NJ – Aug 4, 2011 (credit: Tim Larsen / Governor’s Office)

levon_feature Levon Putney
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BURLINGTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is putting in his two cents when it comes to the proposed massive toll and fare hike from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

WCBS 880’s Levon Putney With The Governor

“I said, ‘You’re kidding, right?’ and they said ‘no,'” Christie said when asked for his reaction when he got the call from the Port Authority. “This is, unfortunately, a testimony to the mismanagement of the Port [Authority] for years. We shouldn’t have to be in this kind of situation.”

He said he and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo will talk things over to see if they’ll support or reject the proposal. He said they will come up with a decision in 10 days.

1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon With Commuters Protesting Possible PATH Fare Hikes In Journal Square

“There’s no doubt that what’s paramount in our mind is the effect that this will have on the citizens of our state,” Christie said. “Governing is about making choices. We have a full range of options, including the veto, but neither of us is sitting here threatening anything because we want to get all of the information.”

The Port Authority said it needs money for projects like suspender ropes on the George Washington Bridge, post-911 security and rebuilding at the World Trade Center site, which is way over budget, reports CBS 2’s Christine Sloan.

“They need to find other areas, or other ways, of trying to get revenues,” said Yolando Philpotts of New York City.

WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane Along Route 4

The proposal, announced Friday, will raise tolls on all six Port Authority crossings to $12 next month and then up to $14 in 2014. PATH fares would also go up $1. The hikes would be especially harsh on those who pay cash, with tolls nearly doubling.

“I don’t think that’s right. I really don’t. If you’re going to pay cash, a credit card should be penalized more,” said Jersey City resident Dennis Naecker said.

A Port Authority spokesperson told Sloan cash-paying customers are being hit hard in the proposed increases because they want all drivers to use E-ZPass to ease congestion.

“They want people to go to use E-ZPass. The problem is that you’re really taxing people who can afford it the least the most, because if you don’t have a credit card and you can’t do E-ZPass, then you got to pay more,” said Jeff Kirschner of Long Island.

The Port Authority plans on holding meetings in New Jersey and New York in the mornings and evenings to get the public’s input before its board votes on the proposed hikes on Aug. 19.

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