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Area Residents Sound Off Ahead Of Port Authority Hearings On Proposed Toll Hikes

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Holland Tunnel (credit: Stephen Chernin/Getty Images)

Holland Tunnel (credit: Stephen Chernin/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Port Authority will hold nine public hearings Tuesday on the subject of its proposed toll and fare hikes announced earlier this month.

However, New York and New Jersey residents started weighing in on the matter as soon as word of an increase came to light.

LINK: Find A Public Hearing Near You

“The recession is still crippling people and people just simply can’t afford it. People shouldn’t choose between driving over a bridge and buying a meal for their family,” one Staten Island resident told 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg.

1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg Speaks With Angry Motorists On Staten Island

Among the most significant aspects of the proposed hike is a $4 toll increase for the George Washington Bridge, Lincoln Tunnel, Holland Tunnel, Bayonne Bridge, Goethals Bridge and Outerbridge Crossing.

PATH riders are also faced with the possibility of seeing a $1 increase on fares. Those who purchase a monthly pass, could end up paying $89, up from the current $54.

Those numbers have area residents asking what the Port Authority is really doing with all the money they currently collect.

“Totally insane. It’s insane before they’re making the changes. Now, it’s a lot,” another Staten Island resident said.

The Port Authority said that the additional revenue is necessary to pay for new bus projects and much-needed fixes for bridges, roads and airports.

Last week, CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reported that the proposed fare increases would not ultimately end up being as high as first thought.

Some Advocates Say The Proposed Hikes Are Too High. WCBS 880’s Levon Putney Reports.

Sources said the increases may end up being only half of what was initially made public. Those sources said the higher rate was only asked for as part of a carefully orchestrated political ballet to give Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Gov. Chris Christie political cover for approving any hike at all.

The hearings on the proposals will take places in various locations in New Jersey and New York on Tuesday. Members of the public are encouraged to pre-register online or by calling 212-435-6916.

Those planning to attend may also register at the hearing locations, but those pre-registered will be given an opportunity to speak first. Comments will be limited to three minutes, according to the Port Authority website.

SOUND-OFF: Are you headed to one of the public hearings? Do you think the fare increases will ultimately become a reality? Tell us in the comments section…

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