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Next Phase Of Toll Hikes To Take Effect On Port Authority Bridges, Tunnels

Holland Tunnel Tolls (credit: CBS 2)

Holland Tunnel Tolls (credit: CBS 2)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Driving across Port Authority bridges and tunnels is about to get more expensive.

The cash toll for the George Washington Bridge, Holland Tunnel, Lincoln Tunnel, Goethals Bridge, Bayonne Bridge and Outerbridge Crossing will increase $1 to $13.

1010 WINS’ John Montone reports

The price for E-ZPass users will go from $9.50 to $10.25 during peak commuting hours and from $7.50 to $8.25 during off-peak hours.

Many drivers said they aren’t happy about the increases.

“It’s definitely not fair, especially for the holidays when folks are trying to save up money for gifts, still paying bills,” said driver Rick Gelpi.

“People are devastated as it is,” said driver Timamu Wilson of Irvington, N.J. “If the rates go up, it’s really going to hurt us.”

“It’s a disgrace. Not even two years ago they raised it up, now again…why?” limo driver Jose Aponte told CBS 2’s Weijia Jiang.

In September, an independent audit said the toll hikes were necessary to maintain the Port Authority’s transportation infrastructure, including maintenance on bridges, roads and tunnels, and to fund capital projects.

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

But AAA has claimed the cash is going toward unrelated real estate projects like the World Trade Center. AAA filed a lawsuit last year calling the increases “unprecedented and unlawful.”

A Port Authority spokesman said the agency can’t comment on pending litigation.

Many drivers said the toll hike will take a toll on their budgets.

“It’s bad enough gas prices are high, now we have to pay more to go into the city and make a living. It’s really ridiculous, it’s going to hurt a lot of us,” Wilson said.

“You wonder where the money’s going,” added Thomas Ford of Jersey City.

But not everyone is against the idea. Some told CBS 2’s Jiang it’s just part of doing business.

“I think with all the damage on the roads we’re going to be short on funds to keep the roads going, so it’s part of the parcel,” said Keith Schneider of Jersey City.

Additional toll increases are scheduled every year until 2015. This latest fare hike goes into effect at 3 a.m. Sunday.

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