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WCBS 880 Tri-State Top 11 Of 2011: No. 5 – Tolls

Vehicles approach the George Washington Bridge toll plaza - Fort Lee, NJ - Sep 23, 2011 (credit: Paul Murnane / WCBS 880)

Vehicles approach the George Washington Bridge toll plaza – Fort Lee, NJ – Sep 23, 2011 (credit: Paul Murnane / WCBS 880)

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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) - We’re counting down top 11 Tri-State Area news stories of 2011 here at WCBS Newsradio 880 and at number 5 is something that hit nearly everyone who drives.

WCBS 880’s Wayne Cabot On The Story

Commuting by car got a bit less attractive in 2011.

“Cash tolls on the George Washington, Goethals, Bayonne, and Outerbridge Crossing and the Holland and Lincoln Tunnels just went up from $8 to $12. For trucks, it’s now $131 per axle,” said WCBS 880 anchor Joe Avellar.

PATH fares also went up.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed off on it with Christie admitting the numbers surprised him.

I said, ‘You’re kidding, right?’ and they said no,” said Christie.

But New Jersey Assemblyman John Wisniewski says this is Christie’s toll increase because he won’t raise the gas tax.

AAA sued over the Port Authority toll hikes on the premise that toll should be paying for transportation, not the new World Trade Center.

This Sunday, New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway tolls go up at least another 50 percent, after rising just three years ago.

But this may be the tipping point, Hudson River bridge and tunnel traffic is down 4 percent while PATH ridership is up 4 percent.

More trucks are taking the local free roads or cheating the tolls with doctored license plates. One guy was stopped at the George Washington Bridge with a James Bond-style flipwire on his plate.

RELATED:
WCBS 880 Tri-State Top 11 Of 2011: No. 11 – Gov. Chris Christie
WCBS 880 Tri-State Top 11 Of 2011: No. 10 – Tour Bus Crashes
WCBS 880 Tri-State Top 11 Of 2011: No. 9 – Gay Marriage
WCBS 880 Tri-State Top 11 Of 2011: No. 8 – Leiby Kletzky
WCBS 880 Tri-State Top 11 Of 2011: No. 7 – Occupy Wall Street
WCBS 880 Tri-State Top 11 Of 2011: No. 6 – 9/11 Plus 10

Stay tuned for numbers 4 and 3 in our countdown Thursday afternoon at 3:50 and 4:50. We’ll bring you numbers 2 and 1 on Friday.

Do you have something to say about the toll hikes? Sound off in the comments section below!