News

Toll Increases Take Effect On Port Authority Crossings

Toll Plaza (file/credit: CBS 2)

Toll Plaza (file/credit: CBS 2)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – It’s now more expensive to drive across the Hudson.

Toll hikes took effect at all of the Port Authority’s Hudson River crossings early Sunday morning.

Peak-time tolls for E-ZPass holders are now $10.25, 75 cents higher.

During off-peak hours, the E-ZPass toll is now $8.25, also up 75 cents.

Cash tolls for cars at all times are now $13, up from $12.

WCBS 880’s Monica Miller reports

The toll hikes took effect at 3 a.m.

“They’re milking us. We’re the highest taxed of all gas rates and whatever and it’s just not fair. There’s only so much a driver can afford,” Brooklyn resident Howard Yankow told CBS 2’s Amy Dardashtian.

“It’s too much, too much everyday. We have to go from here to New York every day,” cab driver Najam Latif told Dardashtian.

Many motorists are unhappy about the tolls, but truckers especially are displeased with the increases, WCBS 880’s Monica Miller reported.

The toll went up $10 for truckers.

“Eventually we might be going out of business,” a truck driver on the New Jersey Turnpike told WCBS 880’s Monica Miller. “Fuel went up, tolls are going up and we don’t get extra money.”

The increased tolls may also hit consumers in the pocketbook if truckers raise costs to offset to higher tolls, Miller reported.

“The cost is going to be given to the consumer from the trucks,” a motorist said.

1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria reports

Drivers at the Holland Tunnel Sunday morning said they were shocked by the new prices to cross into the city.

“I think it’s too much. $13 already?” one driver told 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria.

Some drivers seemed resigned to the new prices.

“It’s not fair but what are you going to do? You have to give in to them, there’s no other way to get into New York from here,” another driver told D’Auria.

“It’s becoming unbearable, it really is. I guess they have their reasons,” another motorist said.

“It affects your wallet, of course. The money gets low,” commuter Renicks Thomas told Dardashtian.

“I pass through here probably four or five times a day,” limo driver Jose Aponte said. “It’s a disgrace. Not even two years ago they raised it up now they’re raising it up again, why?”

Sunday’s toll hikes are the second of five annual increases approved last year in a process that critics said was rushed and lacked transparency.

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

At the time, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said higher tolls were needed to offset security-related projects following the 9/11 attacks, a drop in revenue caused by the economic downturn and the rebuilding of the World Trade Center complex now estimated to cost $14.8 billion.

“Blame the Port Authority. They’re not fixing anything. Not one of these tunnels or bridges have been fixed,” a driver said.

The agency expects that in 2013, it will make $150 million more in tolls and fares than it did in 2012, according to a proposed budget announced on Friday.

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.” That suit is ongoing.

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

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