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Port Authority: AAA Lawsuit Over Toll Hikes Has No Merit

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Holland Tunnel (credit: Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images, FILE)

Holland Tunnel (credit: Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images, FILE)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)AAA has filed a lawsuit against the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey over the recent bridge and toll hikes.

The law requires interstate tolls to be set at just and reasonable levels. AAA says last week’s 50 percent toll hikes at Hudson River crossings violate federal law.

Crossings that now cost $12 are expected to climb even higher to $15 by 2015. To see all the new toll and PATH rates, click here.

Robert Sinclair of AAA said the increases are “unprecedented and unlawful.” He added that according to a prior legal ruling, toll revenue must be used for transportation initiatives.

In response to the lawsuit, the Port Authority said they’ve reviewed the complaint and found it without merit, but motorists who spoke with CBS 2 disagree.

Taxi drivers say they’re getting fewer customers going from New Jersey into Manhattan because fewer people want to pay the tolls. The drivers themselves are left with the cost.

Asked if he’s trying to avoid the tolls, one taxi driver told CBS 2′s Kristin Thorne he was exasperated.

“We have no choice we have to drive with the passengers we pick up. We have no choice,” one taxi driver told CBS 2.

As for the passengers? They’re not happy about the high tolls either.

“That’s what I have to do,” one man told us. “I live out here, so that’s what I have to do.”

“I usually carpool to work. We used to pay $1 a fare. Now it’s up to almost $4 a fare,” another driver said.

What do you think of the AAA’s lawsuit? Sound off in our comments section below…

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