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Report: Port Authority And Fort Lee Working Together To Improve Carpool Safety

George Washington Bridge - Fort Lee, NJ (file / credit: Evan Bindelglass / Special to CBSNewYork)

George Washington Bridge – Fort Lee, NJ (file / credit: Evan Bindelglass / Special to CBSNewYork)

FORT LEE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) - The Port Authority is working with officials in Fort Lee to solve a potentially dangerous traffic problem, according to a report.

Some drivers are using the bus stop on the approach to the George Washington Bridge between Center and Lemoine Avenues in Fort Lee to pick up passengers, achieving carpool status and a big discount on the toll.

The carpool toll is only $3.50. It’s up to $12 for a non-carpool vehicle.

WCBS 880’s Sean Adams On The Story

The problem is these drivers can cut across lanes, block traffic, and hold up the buses at the stop to pick up passengers – many of whom are complete strangers. Offending drivers are often selective about who they pick up, which can further add to delays.

To combat the practice, police have been ticketing the offending drivers, WCBS 880’s Sean Adams reported.

“That’s peak hours they give you a hassle. Off hours, they’re not here. So, nobody gives you a problem,” one driver told Adams. “They say ‘You’re not supposed to be here. This is not a spot.’ They don’t say ‘You cannot pick up people.'”

“They always come around, but you know, I usually take off before they get to me,” said another driver. “When I see them coming, I leave.”

The Port Authority doesn’t condone picking up strangers, as it may present a safety risk. Carpooling with friends, however, reduces traffic and cuts costs for commuters, Adams reported.

A Port Authority spokesman told Patch.com the agency is working with Fort Lee to set up a safe, legal place to make carpooling connections.

Until a resolution is reached, spokesman Al Della Fave told Patch that the agency recommends frequent carpoolers make arrangements with their regular passengers to get picked up in another spot.

Do you think there should be a separate carpool pickup spot? Sound off in the comments section below.