Reporting Sean Adams
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Here comes the pain.
As though Monday mornings weren’t difficult enough, for many commuters today, there is an additional headache: Higher fares and tolls for crossing the Hudson River.
Commuters are paying as much as 50 percent more to cross bridges and tunnels as the Port Authority’s controversial toll and fare hikes took effect.
WCBS 880′s Sean Adams With Reaction At The George Washington Bridge
Needless to say, the fare hike is not what you might call “popular.”
“It stinks,” one commuter told CBS 2′s Ann Mercogliano.
“It kills you,” George Pavalles told WCBS 880′s Mike Xirinachs. “It forces you to consider mass transit, which maybe is less convenient, but you can afford it.”
“We’re not getting paid as much and we’re having to pay more for everything that’s transportation wise, it’s not fair,” one woman told 1010 WINS’ John Montone.
If you plan on paying cash at Port Authority crossings, get ready to fork it over. There’s a $4 increase. Crossing the Hudson now costs $12 for cash customers.
For EZ Pass users, tolls are now $9.50 during peak hours. That’s a bump of $1.50.
PATH trains now cost $2, a 25 cent hike.
1010 WINS’ John Montone reports: Feeling The Pinch
One cab driver said the extra costs are going to get passed on to consumers.
“The passenger has to pay,” he said.
While these tolls and fares may be tough to take, they’re scheduled to rise even further, with Hudson River tolls at $12.50 by the 2015 and PATH train fares up to $2.75.
The Port Authority said it needs the extra income to pay for transportation projects and rebuilding the World Trade Center.
AAA said the use of money for that type of construction violates federal law. Robert Sinclair of AAA said a prior legal ruling states that toll revenue must be used for transportation initiatives.
“We think that increasing tolls to pay for costs over at the World Trade Center violates that legal decision and will impede interstate commerce and establish a new and ill-conceived policy of diverting toll revenues to local real estate development projects,” Sinclair said.
AAA is suing to block the toll hikes, but in the meantime the only choice drivers have is how to pay for them.
“Still got to work in the city everyday,” one commuter told Mercogliano, “Still got to do it.”
What do you think of the Port Authority’s explanations of the hikes? Sound off in our comments section below…