Port Authority Pledges Reforms After Audit Findings; Calls Continue For Toll Hike Rollback

Report: PA 'A Challenged And Dysfunctional Organization' In Need Of Overhaul

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — In the wake of a scathing audit there are demands for the Port Authority to roll back those steep toll hikes at bridges and tunnels between New York and New Jersey.

New reports show the troubled agency mismanaged funds and is accused of wasting billions of dollars. But so far, the “P-A” is saying “N-O,” reports CBS 2’s Tony Aiello.

The toll hikes are hurting the average person right now.

“I think they should roll ’em back. Raising the tolls was kind of crazy,” one commuter said.

WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell With Port Authority Reaction

There’s no question the toll hikes are unpopular, but are they unjustified given audit findings of epic mismanagement at the Port Authority?

Some New York and New Jersey lawmakers say yes — roll the toll hikes back.

“In these dire times, and to see the waste and mismanagement, it’s really offensive to all of us here,” N.J. Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle said.

Port Authority Chairman David Samson said he understands the frustration.

“I wouldn’t have voted for the toll increase last August if I didn’t think it was necessary and appropriate,” Samson said.

Samson said he supports the audit findings that call the Port Authority “a challenged and dysfunctional organization” … “in need of a top-to-bottom overhaul.”

Auditors blamed mismanagement on multi-billion dollar overruns rebuilding the World Trade Center site.

“The commuters of New York and New Jersey are getting shafted,” Port Authority critic Richard Hughes said. “The Port Authority is not doing its core mission, which is repairing the bridges and tunnels and improving the airports.”

However, the Port Authority insists every penny of the toll hike is going to transportation projects.

“Not a dollar of toll revenue has, is, now, or will go outside the interstate transportation network,” Executive Director Pat Foye said.

To insiders, the current troubles at the bi-state agency almost seemed inevitable given the political turmoil of the last decade, which saw five different governors in New Jersey and four in New York — each with his own priorities and filling Port Authority positions with his own people.

“And in the midst of that, went through seven different executive directors in that 10-year period. The last 10 years what this agency has gone through has been completely destabilizing,” Port Authority Vice Chairman Scott Rechler said.

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below …

  • Amused but not misled

    The PA is like a child. I promise to be good next time.

    Now let me keep all of your excessive tool money that (if AAA Prevails) you’re not entitled to. Geez.

    Yeah change 4 or 5 bosses and 1000’s are better smarter PA workers now. GIVE ME A BREAK!

  • RoyBoySays

    And let’s not forget Goernor Christies answer,when asked about the 40+ appointees’ ” I MAKE NO APOLOGIES”, I think that says it all

  • RoyBoySays

    BS BS Bs BS and the saga of mismanagement,and Political POatronage continues….just ask Governor Christie,with his 40+ appointments to the PA,to fill non existing positions,at a cost of millions to the taxpayers

  • Bullett

    Maybe we should request and audit of the NJ Turnpike Authority on its most recent toll hike.


    All the heads of the Port authority NEEDS TO BE FIRED as well as jailed for negligence, and incompetence!!!

  • Robert from Woodbridge

    The politicians need the Port Authority…how else can they steal all that money?

  • Rugbyball

    The Port Authority will never be disbanded, it requires the vote of both Governors and the board. There is no means to disband by a public vote. The Board are not voting themselves out of a job, and the board are made up by appointees from the two governors, AND the Governors use the appointments as payback to political buddies.

  • Meme Meyagi

    to maintain roads and bridges, a car toll of $1 per car is more than enough. everything on top of that goes to pay for buses and subways. buses and subways will always need more $ and tolls will always go up if nothing is done.

  • Patrick

    Nothing will happen… criminals in LIbya, Syria, egypt etc etc. Only a AMerican spring here will change anything. People we also have corrupt regimes too. And this is one of them

    • Amused but not misled

      You tell’em!

  • Don Knotts

    The PA of N.Y. & N.J. has always been a giant black hole where our tax dollars disappear. For starters, fire all of the executives of the P.A. and disband the P.A.P.D. which is a very expensive and wasteful operation by itself. Other than collecting tolls there is no reason to have a P.A.P.D. as the municipalities in N.Y. and N.J. have large, professional police, fire and E.M.S. departments that respond to emergencies at the P.A. facilities anyway. be

    • PeteyP

      I doubt municipalities in NJ want the NYPD crossing state lines into their backyard, nor does the NYPD want NJ Transit/State Police venturing into NY. There is such a thing as “jurisdiction” you know.

      • Don Knotts

        N.Y.’s Emergency Responders interact with those of surrounding jurisdictions on a daily basis at locations that border their areas of operation [other counties as well as states]. This is not a reason to continue to staff and operate the PAPD.

        • PeteyP

          It’s THAT simple huh?

          • Don Knotts

            Actually, yes … it’s that simple. The PAPD is an unnecessary agency, it duplicates and triplicates services that are already being provided by other agencies.

  • Reality Check

    I love how “reports” and other “investigative” nonsense brings to light what the general public already knew. If the MTA or any other organization needs to raise its fees year after year to continuing operating, funds are being mismanaged and criminal activity or incompetence is to blame. PERIOD. The reason why the MTA and others get away with it is because people are apathetic and do not demand accountability.

    • midi-man

      That is the Mayors fault.

      They think that because there is a un limitless funds since they can just raise and raise the tolls and fares.
      We all have to live within out mean and so should every city agency.
      The general public is not a bottomless money pit that they can keep suck us dry.

      The MTA thinks it’s unfair that they should not pay more than $5 for their medical everyone pay more than that..

      We need someone with a back bone to dismantle the MTA and the port authority.

  • Linda Elsey

    Just go back ten years and arrest them all then. The blatant waste of taxpayer and toll payer money is a shame.

  • Carlos Liriano

    how about first degree grand larceny, they all nothing but a bunch white collar thief, they should be giving 20 years a hard labor or better yet hang then from the GW at high noon

  • Port Moron

    All the heads of the Port authority NEEDS TO BE FIRED as well as jailed for negligence, and incompetence!!!

    • Bubba

      How about the ones who mouth off on the blog with inane comments?

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